Two new reports from the National Council of Nonprofits present some grim news: Surveys from earlier in 2009 indicate that the current recession is affecting nonprofit organizations in significant ways.

According to the council's online summary:

  • Contributions and grants, from all sources -- individuals, foundations, corporations and government -- are all dramatically decreased from levels a year ago.
  • Foundation assets have shrunk by, on average, 26%.
  • Corporate giving programs are giving less, if at all.
  • Individuals are giving fewer dollars and fewer gifts. Giving USA reported that overall giving was down by 5.7% in 2008.
  • Demands on charitable nonprofits are dramatically increasing as individuals rely more heavily on social services provided by nonprofits to address their own financial challenges.
  • Arts and cultural nonprofits are experiencing a decrease in the demand for their programs, so their ticket sales are down.
  • Operating costs continue to increase, especially in connection with health care insurance.

The summary links to the two reports themselves:

Special Report 8 is titled "A Respectful Warning Call to Our Partners in Government: The Economic Crisis Is Unraveling the Social Safety Net Faster Than Most Realize." It warns that even as the economy recovers, some social service nonprofits may be so hobbled by the downturn that they are unable to recover. Read it here.

Special Report 9 is named "Strategies Being Used by Nonprofit Leaders to Cope with the Nation's Economic Crisis." It offers concrete suggestions for cost-cutting and other strategies for surviving the downturn. Read it here.

In Trust's Spring 2009 and Summer 2009 addressed several topics related to the economy. View the table of contents for the Spring issue here and for the Summer issue here.