Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nonprofits Feeling the Financial Strain

According to The NonProfit Times, “America’s nonprofits expect that 2010 will be financially more difficult or as difficult as 2009, according to a survey, the results of which were released by Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF). And, some of them don’t have enough cash on hand to get through a dry patch of more than 100 days.

The survey of more than 1,300 nonprofit leaders in markets nationwide also found strong evidence of the dramatic and creative steps that organizations are taking to maintain and even expand service delivery to meet increased demand during this time of continued economic uncertainty."
Key findings include:
  • The majority (61%) has less than three months of cash available; 12% have none.
  • Nearly 90% expect 2010 to be as difficult or more difficult than 2009; only 12% expect 2010 to be financially easier for their organizations.
  • 80% of nonprofits anticipate an increase in demand for services in 2010; less than half (49%) expect to be able to fully meet this demand level.
  • Only 18% of organizations expect to end 2010 above break-even; 35% of organizations ended 2009 with an operating surplus.

Unfortunately, like so many nonprofit organizations, these findings also hold true for ACR. The recent poor economy has put a strain on charitable donations, as families need to reserve money for everyday necessities; in turn, our programs are feeling the pinch. Cut backs must be made and the number of cats we wish to help is being affected. Even more unfortunate, is the number two and number three findings listed above. Until the economy sees a significant recovery, organizations are not going to feel the financial benefits, and their situations are more likely to get worse before they get better. 

Every year, ACR sees an increase in demand for our programs and services; every year we receive more requests from people regarding cats who need our help. Right now, we are stuck in a catch-22 situation, with families losing their homes and countless cats and dogs being relinquished or abandoned. Now is the time people and cats need us most!     

So, we keep hanging in there, because we strongly believe in our cause and because the cats need us. It is more than money that drives most organizations in the nonprofit sector….it is heart; it is compassion; it is a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Just as Clara Miller, president and CEO Nonprofit Finance Fund says, “Nonprofits aren’t rolling over in the face of economic strain. The sector is filled with determined individuals and inspiring organizations focused on the most critical issues we face as a society. While the ‘coping mechanisms’ we’re seeing are encouraging, we also need to make fundamental changes to the way the sector is financed.” It would be a huge relief to see such a “fundamental change in nonprofit finances,” but until then we will continue to do it the old fashioned way…with a lot of elbow grease and from support of compassionate individuals that see the importance in our work. Thank you to all of our compassionate supporters; we couldn't do it without you!

No comments: