As a follow-up to our original Pulse Check post (March 2009), here is another round-up of the latest surveys and studies indicating how the nonprofit sector in being affected by the ongoing recession.
Listening Post Project Communique No. 14: Impact of the 2007-09 Economic Recession on Nonprofit Organizations (June 2009) [PDF]. Based on a survey conducted in April 2009 by the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, the Communique reports that:
- 83 percent of responding organizations reported some level of fiscal stress during the target period of September 2008 to March 2009.
- Close to 40 percent of the organizations considered the stress to be “severe” or “very severe.
- Theaters and orchestras were particularly hard hit, with 73 percent of the former and half of the latter reporting“severe” or “very severe” stress.
- A third or more of child-serving and elderly-serving organizations also reported “severe” or “very severe” fiscal stress.
- The share of organizations reporting “severe” or “very severe” fiscal stress is actually lower now than during the recession that followed 9/11 (37% vs. 51% of organizations).
- Well over half of all organizations have launched new or expanded fund-raising efforts, targeting individuals, state and local government, the federal government, and foundations.
- Read more [PDF] >>
Managing in Tough Times: May 2009 Nonprofit Leaders Survey Update (June 2009). To update their November study, Managing in Tough Times: 7 Steps, the Bridgespan Group surveyed nearly 100 nonprofit leaders in May 2009 to find out how the ongoing recession is currently affecting their organizations. Here's a sampling of what they found:
- Since November 2008, the percentage of nonprofits reporting funding cuts has increased from 52 percent to 69 percent.
- The percentage reporting cuts of more than 20 percent has increased from 13 percent to 24 percent.
- 70 percent of small organizations (those with revenues less than $1 million) reported that their financial picture had worsened in the past six months, compared with 38 percent for medium and 41 percent for large organizations ($1 million to 10 million, and greater than $10 million, respectively).
- Read more >>
Nonprofit Finance Fund Survey: America's Nonprofits in Danger (April 2009). The results from a survey of more than 1,100 nonprofits conducted by Nonprofit Finance Fund in February and March, 2009, includes these findings:
- 65 percent are developing "worst-case scenario" contingency budgets.
- 59 percent are engaging more closely with boards through more frequent reports and meetings.
- 48 percent are freezing all hires and current staff salaries.
- Only 12 percent expect to operate above break-even this year.
- Read more [PDF] >>
Foundations Address the Impact of the Economic Crisis (April 2009). An examination of how foundations have been responding to the current economic crisis, this research advisory is based on early 2009 survey responses of more than 1,200 U.S. foundations. It is part of an ongoing Foundation Center research series intended to shed light on the impact of the economic downturn on the nonprofit sector. Key findings:
- Close to two-thirds of surveyed foundations predict reductions in the number and/or size of their grants in 2009.
- Most respondents expect to maintain the number of program and geographic areas they currently support.
- Two out of five respondents expect to dip into their endowment principal to fund their 2009 grants budgets.
- Over half of respondents anticipate engaging in more non-grantmaking activities in response to the economic downturn.
- More than one-third of community foundation respondents are engaging in special initiatives in response to the economic crisis, compared to 14 percent of respondents overall.
- Read more >>
Have you read other enlightening reports and survey findings? Tell us about them.