Thursday, October 22, 2009

News You Can Use

Look Folks, We're not doing too Bad

It seems that articles that describe the impact the current (or recent) economic slump and its effect on charities are coming our regularly. I noted this one form the Hartford Business Journal.

A recent interview with an executive from the United Way described a survey conducted in central and northeastern Connecticut herein one in three charity executives expressed concern that their program would have to close.

What Susan Dunne of the UW sees is the economy has caused many donors to cut funding, while demand for many services has increased. She estimates that perhaps 1,900 jobs are at risk.

While this might bode ill for all charities, I think this can remind us that our position is not nearly that bad. Consider our blessings:
  • Our overhead is minimal. Most non-profits have to raise funds for administration and overhead, increasing their challenge. Because of our Centralized model, each Center is only raising direct case funds, lowering our overall need.
  • We are not reliant upon governmental aid. The article states that direct donations account for only 20% of the organizations' income. A lot comes from local and state governmental sources, which are really unstable in this economy.
  • Most of these organizations have little or no reserve. Our history of raising Board Restricted Funds gives many LCs a cushion to protect us from the severe potential economic environment.
  • The Scottish Rite Benevolent Foundation provided a $60,000 front end infusion of funds. In the rest of the non-profit world, this would be a god-send.

Yeah, things aren't as they were. But they are a lot better than what most non-profits are facing. Our hurdles are lower than most. All we have to do is take flight.


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