Non-profits brace themselves for 2010

Check out this article in the SF Gate about the struggles of non-profits in the Bay Area in these challenging economic times.

Bay Area nonprofits brace for 2010 shakeout

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Nonprofits are seeing an alarming drop in funding and increased demand for help this year, setting the stage for a complete shakeup of the sector in 2010.

Unlike recessions past, this one could permanently alter the nonprofit landscape, say nonprofit CEOs, forcing possible closures and mergers as the sector restructures to survive.

Hardest hit will be the Bay Area, home to one of the highest concentrations of nonprofits in the nation. There are 25,000 nonprofits in the region; 7,000 in San Francisco alone. Among them are 10,000 charitable nonprofits with budgets above $25,000. Their combined budgets account for 14 percent of the Bay Area’s gross national product – twice the national average.

Click here to read the full article.

The article discusses the constant fears of non-profits around the country including bracing themselves for a significant drop in funding in 2010. Many non-profits feel comfortable with their budgets for 2009 because funding was acquired before the economic downturn – but 2010 proves to be quite a challenge. Funding from most sources is being cut – foundations are scaling back grant amounts, government agencies are revisiting funding priorities, corporations are facing their own budget cuts, and most individuals are feeling more hesitant to donate money instead of saving it for a “rainy day” that might occur at any moment.

“The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the leading newspaper of the nonprofit world, surveyed 73 of the nation’s largest foundations in December about their 2009 grant making plans and found 39 percent expect to decrease the amount they contribute to charities this year.”

However, it is important to note that these are generalizations and that some entities are actually increasing funding because they recognize the increased need for non-profit services during this time. A need which does not necessarily correlate with an increase in funding.

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest in the world with assets estimated at $30 billion, plans to raise its giving from $3.3 billion in 2008 to $3.8 billion in 2009 to help charities survive. The San Francisco Foundation plans to give the same amount to charities that it did last year, despite a shrinking endowment.”

As funding sources and amounts shrink, this is a crucial time for non-profits to think creatively and explore different options for fundraising. Check out these links for some useful tips:

If you are interested in attending some workshops around fundraising during these tough times – register for the 2009 South Asian Summit to have access to those workshops and much more!

Are you ready to “Be the Change” on Saturday, October 4th?

SAALT is gearing up for Be the Change 2008 and we wanted to thank all of our planning teams and local volunteers who have worked so hard over the past few months to plan for this national day of service! Be the Change, formerly known as the National Gandhi Day of Service, is coordinated by SAALT along with volunteers around the country. This year, we are excited that the event will be held in over 60 cities and campuses! You can find a full list of the cities and campuses here.This year’s theme for Be the Change is “Solidarity in Service” and we want to encourage all of our volunteers to keep this theme in mind when they are volunteering this year. This theme reflects the way community service can build coalitions, strengthen relationships, and bring about solidarity among people of different backgrounds.

Examples of service sites this year include:

Books to Prisons: Volunteers will be reading letters from prisoners, selecting books that match their request, and packaging the books to send the prisoners (Washington DC)

Hands on Atlanta Volunteers will be building wheelchair ramps, mentoring individuals in computer skills, and more. (Atlanta)

Ronald McDonald House: Volunteers will prepare a meal for, and serve families whose children are seriously ill and receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. (San Francisco)

Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN): Volunteers will be conducting recreational activities for kids in the program who have are mentally or physically challenged. (New York City)

Boston Healthcare for the Homeless: Volunteers will be


working with patients by leading activities like games, crafts, entertainment, etc.These are just a mere few service sites that Be the Change volunteers will be participating in this year. Stay tuned for an update about how Be the Change went and how you can continue your community involvement.