Since the beginning of 2009, the Community Foundation of Utah has been asking nonprofit organizations to share how the recession has impacted their operations and services. Our two previous dashboard studies have been used by nonprofits and their boards, corporations, and foundations, and have been featured in national and local press.
This third dashboard focused on two areas highly impacted by the recession: the nonprofit sector’s financial ability to withstand a declining economy through endowments and reserve funds, and trends in interagency collaborations.
We find :
- Utah nonprofit organizations lack reserve funds
- Very few Utah organizations have an endowment
- A movement toward deeper collaborations, and that these
- Collaborations benefit agencies and the populations they serve
- Mergers are increasing
- The demand for services has continued to climb, and consumer confidence remains low
You can read the full report here DashboardNovember09.pdf
Nine interesting ' rules' from Peter Haas' piece In Social Enterprise. (1) Don't start a new organization. (2) Clearly define what you do and stick with it. (3) Clearly define your budgets and cash flow, and track your variance. (4) It costs more than you expect. Get more than you need. (5) Get legal and stay legal. (6) Pay yourself and your staff from the beginning. (7) Communicate openly with your staff and board and have clear roles and responsibilities. (8) Treat both constituents and donors as customers. (9) Play nice with others.
Read the full article here:
I've been speaking for the past several years about the growth of the nonprofit sector and an inevitable response we may see from Congress. Today's New York Times has an article describing how the number of charitable organizations has grown more than 60 percent in the United States, to 1.1 million over the past decade.
The issue here is not the number - but the impact. As we grapple with real demands on the federal coffers, we need to remember that the $300 billion donated last year ALONE cost the federal government more than $50 billion in lost tax revenue.
"Especially during these tough economic times, it's troubling to hear we are increasing the number of these organizations at such a rapid pace," said Representative Xavier Becerra, a California Democrat. It's not free, and so we need to do something to make sure taxpayers are getting a big enough benefit in return."
Read the article here.
Thanks to Brock Blake, CEO of Funding Universe, for braving the snow and Point of the Mountain to train 40 equally intrepid nonprofits yesterday. Brock reviewed the key elements of a successful speed pitch and complimented the extraordinary passion and success of our sector. Bravo to Caroline Goldman of Hawkwatch International for being our 'test case'.
Next week we'll have an example of what FSG Social Impact Advisers call 'Authentic Corporate Engagement. When 150 plus social and for profit entrepreneurs are sharing ideas to strengthen our community, they are seeding what FSGG calls"strategic and targeted efforts that transcend traditional notions of corporate social responsibility and create valuable change for the business and society".
We are very much looking forward to this groundbreaking day. Learn more about the FSG model here.
At the Enlightened Entrepreneurs event on Dec 15 we'll be hearing from a panel of business leaders on the topic of 'doing good and doing well' -- in essence corporate responsibility. The consulting firm McKinsey had an interesting take on this today. They say more CEOs are getting on the CSR bandwagon, with little idea of how to get off or why they got on in the first place. They suggest that 'smart partnering' is the way to go ... and just in time for our speed mentoring event!
If you have not read this terrific series about the importance of our symphony I suggest you do. Our economic data has long argues that without a strong arts and cultural community Utah's economic development - to say nothing of our souls - will be severely hampered. Our studies have, unfortunately, how that giving to the arts is way down, and as a result these organizations have faced severe budget cuts, resulting in lay offs and reduction in programming, It is hard for arts organizing to trim their budgets - as Pat Richard so aptly puts in this article, you can't just ask the musicians to play faster! To learn how you can help - and remember, every dollar counts, log in here.
For all the stories about foundations wanting to see nonprofits merge during the 'Great Recession', there are still relatively few that describe groups actually doing it. This piece in the Sacramento bee follows one merger.
The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund - the 'for profit' Donor Advised Fund run by Fidelity announced that incoming contributions totaled $1.1 billion in 2009, up from $1.05 billion in 2008.
Their press release credited the rebound in major market indices in the second half of the year -- resulting in an increase in contributions of appreciated securities, as donors looked for ways to meet their philanthropic goals while taking advantage of the charitable tax deduction. In total, donors to the fund — the nation's largest donor-advised fund program and its third-largest public charity — supported more than 60,000 nonprofits and recommended more than 298,000 grants in 2009 — a 1.8 percent increase over 2008. For the third year in a row, the total grant amount recommended by Fidelity donors topped $1 billion.
The Community Foundation of Utah provide local services with the same tax benefits -- and with just as competitive administrative fees. We say THINK LOCAL.
Some of our economic studies(get ready - another on the way) have shown that smaller nonprofits, especially those in rural areas, have been the hardest hit by the recession. This new article from a hometown newspaper in Woodstock Illinois stresses the importance of these organizations to their communities. Here is the story of one such demise, a small agency serving a growing Hispanic and Latino population outside of Chicago.