A: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but here are 10 suggested resources that may be helpful. If you have recommendations, please let us know by leaving a comment.
1. It is critical that your organization develop and closely monitor a sound fundraising plan that includes detailed outlines for securing a diverse array of support and revenue. Learn how at our free class, webinar, or full day seminar.
2. 20 Emergency Funding Sources for Nonprofits. From Fieldstone Alliance, this web page includes "sources that can be accessed quickly, usually within 30 days," along with this note of caution, "Not all of these sources are available to all nonprofits, and some of them carry great risk." The strategies included are detailed in these categories: cash flow management, contributed income, earned income, debt financing, and existing assets.
3. Adapting to Change: 22 Structural Strategies for Nonprofits. Also from Fieldstone Alliance, this web page includes 22 ideas "involving organizational change. When major external change happens, it’s important to look internally to revisit and, if necessary, revise your mission and approach in order to serve the community in the best way possible." Ideas, opportunities and action steps are displayed in the following categories: general advice, modify mission, modify organization structure, and modify organization culture.
4. And Now for Something Different About Nonprofits and the Economy 1/1/09. This article from Jan Masaoka in Blue Avocado, advises, among other things, that organizations give themselves permission to "declare an emergency. An emergency doesn't mean people should panic...an emergency means considering the bold and wacky ideas that are either brand new or used to be off the table." She goes on to advise nonprofits to "ask for help even if you don't know what would help."
5. Coping with Cutbacks. A book by Emil Angelica and Vincent Hyman that offers "immediate help with 185 specific cutback strategies."
6. RFP Bulletin from Philanthropy News Digest. Broaden your search for funding. RFP Bulletin lets you search by subject through notices of awards that can be applied for immediately. You can activate a free e-mail subscription to RFP Bulletin and have it delivered weekly.
7. Foundation Directory Online Professional can be used to search for grantmakers that provide "emergency funds" using the "type of support" index. It is available by subscription or for free use at more than 400 Foundation Center locations. In addition, you should consider contacting any of your organization's current foundation supporters and asking for assistance.
8. Philanthropy Chat: How to Downsize a Nonprofit [podcast] features writer, educator, and nonprofit leader Michael Seltzer discussing cost-cutting, collaboration, and the hard question, "How can nonprofits handle workforce reductions when all else fails?"
9. Live From Navigating Your Nonprofit Through Challenging Times. Replay this live blog post and get play-by-play details from an April, 2009 seminar hosted by Business Volunteers Unlimited, The Center For Nonprofit Excellence and The Nonprofit Finance Fund. Topics include the importance of not being short-sighted in a recessionary economy and how to separate "symptoms" from "problems" within your organization.
10. Managing in Tough Times: 7 Steps, from the Bridgespan Group, advises nonprofits to make contingency plans for worst case financial scenarios, to identify who are the top performers at your organization and take steps to keep them that way, and to communicate openly and often with board, staff, and other key people about the organization's financial realities.
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(This post is from Katie Artzner, the Foundation Center's online librarian.)