Tom Raffa wrote this article for Nonprofit Quarterly.
In the past 12 months, we have seen significant declines in the stock market, an increase in the rate of unemployment, terrorist attacks, and actions to bolster our economy by the Federal Reserve System through numerous interest rate cuts.
Some organizations have received significant contributions for victim assistance programs and similar activities. Other organizations have seen funding reductions from private foundations, with reduced distributions as a result of the current bear market, reduced membership receipts as members seek more value from their membership dollar, and redirection of charitable giving as a result of September 11.
Last October, our firm organized a workshop, “Weathering Funding Reductions,” that brought together leadership from 70 nonprofit organizations to collaborate around a central question: “How will giving be impacted across time by the current realities and how will my organization be impacted directly?” The result of this workshop was the identification of several fundamental strategies from nonprofit organizational leaders who have experienced past crises or navigated their organizations through uncertain times.