Almost everyone who works in the non-profit sector knows the times are very, very tough. While our donations are actually up from a year ago at this time, we are well under budget in terms of what we expected and planned as we looked to 2010. As a result, we are in a scramble to cut expenses and trim programming costs as we move into the end of the year.
But the extent of the downturn was driven home Monday by a report made public by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. A concise report on the story appeared on The Huffington Post over the weekend:
WASHINGTON — A new ranking of the nation's 400 biggest charities shows donations dropped by 11 percent overall last year as the Great Recession ended - the worst decline in 20 years since the Chronicle of Philanthropy began keeping a tally.
The Philanthropy 400 report to be released Monday shows such familiar names as the United Way and the Salvation Army, both based near Washington, continue to dominate the ranking, despite the 2009 declines. The survey accounts for $68.6 billion in charitable contributions.
An earlier report by the Giving USA Foundation found overall charitable giving declined 3.6 percent last year. That report included giving to private foundations and to smaller charities, while the Chronicle's survey only includes top charities raising money from the public.
"It shows that charities are really having a tough time, and this is some of the most successful charities in the United States," Chronicle Editor Stacy Palmer said. "Usually bigger charities are more resilient, so that's the part that is still surprising."
Read the entire story here.