Nonprofit Center Survey Reveals Worsening Economic Situation

Posted by Jacob Smith on May 19th, 2009 in News

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In May 2009, The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University’s School of Business, solicited nonprofit organizations in the region, via email and its website, to complete a short online survey regarding the impact of the current economic situation.

Below is a summary of the most significant findings from 185 respondents from Philadelphia and its environs.

  • 57% indicated their current fiscal situation is worse than it was one year ago
  • 38% indicated it was about the same
  • 44% indicated that anticipate ending this fiscal year at a break even point while 41% indicated that was their status at the end of the previous fiscal year
  • 16% anticipate ending this fiscal year with an operating surplus while 39% had a surplus at the end of last fiscal year
  • 40% anticipate ending with a deficit, twice the number (20%) who had ended with a deficit last year
  • 45% have had a decrease in funding from corporations in the past six months while 6% had an increase
  • 5% have had a decrease in foundation funding in the past six months while 14% had an increase
  • 41% have had a decrease in government support in the past six months while 13% had an increase
  • 59% have had a decrease in donations from individuals while 15% had an increase
  • 45% indicate their budget will be the same next year while 43% say it will be reduced
  • 44% have sufficient case reserves to cover 2 to 3 months of operation
  • 65% have reported an increase in demand for services
  • 65% of organizations more than 21 years old report that they are in worse shape than they were last year

Actions nonprofits have taken in the past 12 months to adjust to the economic situation:

  • 39% have reduced or frozen salaries with 49% are considering same in the next 12 months
  • 37% have dipped into reserves while 35% are considering it
  • 26% have reduced the scope of a service while 40% are considering it
  • 22% have laid off staff while 32% are considering it
  • 13% have eliminated a program while 31% are considering it
  • 12% have collaborated with another organization
  • 18% have reduced benefits while another 27% are considering it
  • None have reported a merger yet, but 11% are considering it
  • 7% (n=1) have filed for bankruptcy
  • 6% are considering closing their doors

Actions Board of Directors have taken in the past 12 months to adjust to the economic situation:

  • 25% indicate the board has stepped up its fundraising activities and/or personal giving
  • 23% say board has conducted business as usual
  • 16% say the board has asked for budget cutting scenarios
  • 4% say they don’t need any special action by the board

What nonprofits say they need:

  • 64% want help building stronger boards
  • 56% need to develop a marketing strategy
  • 44% need a diversified development strategy
  • 43% need strategic planning

For more information about the survey, call The Nonprofit Center at 215-951-1701.

The opinions expressed in Nonprofit University Blog are those of writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of La Salle University or any other institution or individual.