INTOUCH : Times tough for NFPs

Recession is bad news for charities and there are signs that local not-for-profits are concerned about their own economic wellbeing.
A recent nationwide survey by international accounting firm Grant Thornton reveals that there’s been significant rise in levels of concern around financing and fundraising in the not-for-profit sector. Two years ago, 56 percent saw financing their organisation’s activities as significant issue, while 30 percent were concerned about fundraising – those figures have now respectively risen to 72 percent and 47 percent.
The role of the board in relation to governance also registered rise in concern from 26 percent to 33 percent with increasing demand on board members as well as additional committee assignments and more frequent meetings. Retaining and motivating staff and the management/compliance cost of staffing are also areas causing concern.
It’s fair to say that most NFPs are responding to the economic downturn by taking closer look at their costs, says Grant Thornton partner Brent Kennerley. He notes change in the status of community trusts and individual donors with many of the former having no money to give, while donations from individuals appear to be filling the gap. similar survey carried out in the US during 2008 showed that in depressed economic times, individual donors were likely to choose organisations with which they have personal or professional connections.
With that in mind, NFPs should be looking to strengthening relationships with long-term donors, suggests Kennerley.

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