The Recession Wild Card

The Recession Wild Card

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Orozco and others point out that inadequate preparation is often not for lack of will but rather lack of resources. Tim Delaney, president of the National Council of Nonprofits, notes that 92 percent of nonprofits have annual budgets of $1 mil- lion or less.

"It’s not like they have endowments sitting there or can go out and raise a few million on the side to prepare," Delaney says. "Nonprofits live in a world of reality — not fantasy. They’re doing the best they can."

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While overall giving dropped during that period, it rose for human-service groups, such as food banks and shelters, which were providing some of the most needed services. Donations to human-service groups increased 8.5 percent in 2008 and 1.8 percent in 2009, according to the annual "Giving USA" report.

But Delaney cautions that such statistics can be misleading. Even if they were raising more money during that period, shelters and pantries likely weren’t raising enough to cover the full cost of meeting surging demand.

"If they’re getting 10 percent more money but there’s 20 percent higher demand for their services, it’s still not equal," Delaney says.

Source Name: 
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
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