There is no question about it: We are seeing the most challenging economic times since the Great Depression. Every day we read of the lost jobs in this business or that, but when was the last time you heard of lost jobs and closing the doors on a non-profit organization
Well, it is true ?; it is actually happening. The non-profit sector is struggling in a big way. The timing could not be worse: we rely on so many non-profit to provide its services – from soup kitchens to health care – and the prospect of scaling back (or close their doors) is happening when they are more desperately needed than ever time in communities, both large and small, throughout the country. As a reference, we must remember that the company receives its IRS non-profit status only after proving the charitable benefits of the constituency it serves.
If we review the series of major events in recent months, several specific issues have combined to produce these so-called “perfect storm” – we have just completed the most expensive presidential campaign in the history of our country (and before Obama could deliver his acceptance speech on election night in Chicago, many were already seriously concerned about the economy), state budgets have been squeezed, many of failing private institutions (even Freddie and Fannie) were major participants in the non-profit sector and individual donors have seen their savings fall more than any other time in their lives
Let’s face it. the scope of the current financial situation – and its impact on the non-profit sector -. is huge
But the purpose of this article is to provide some positive steps to help preventive charities success (survival?) even in difficult times. True, just as in the for-profit sector, not all non-profit will survive. We can not change the fact in a capitalistic society. However, we encourage charities to exude excellence and compete successfully among their peers animals funding dollars.
I got an email March 26, 2009 from a group, the information that I try to follow, known as “IT Solution Journal.” The subject line read: “Follow the rules, tools, policies and best practices that are cost effective”
Wow! It is a subject near and dear to my heart: non-profit compliance in the field of ethics, management and accountability. As I have stated in previous articles, I believe that pro-active compliance is a sure way for a non-profit, charitable organization to signal its commitment to excellence.
So, in part, here is what the email had to say :.
“Organizations of all sizes, industries and professions have long been mindful of the need for rules and regulations followed in the current economic environment, however, progressive organizations are now shifting their focus somewhat. Mere compliance with laws and regulations is no longer enough. Thanks to tight economic situation and fiercely competitive business environment, proactive managers and executives are committed to implementing strategic email and hosted service management … “
The good news: My experience has been that non-profit organizations have been extremely resilient over the years. And my belief is that non-profit organizations are better suited to address a number of pressing problems in the authorities-or private sector organizations
and bad news. I am concerned that most charities have not been as diligent as they should with their regulatory compliance. Up important document for a non-profit, charitable organization has been IRS Form 990, filed annually. It is my opinion that this will begin to change more and more (as I have mentioned in previous articles on priorities that Congress has placed on the non-profit compliance and heightened scrutiny empowered to IRS.
foundations are watch endowments their fall, so the case for less grant funding and their boards struggle with deteriorating portfolios. The same applies to individual donors. So, how does a struggling non-profit to get the edge?
I have five suggestions:
1 Do not panic Now is the time for calm, cool, collected thought
2 Make the necessary changes if there are directors or employees ….. members who are not adequately serving the organization, divided out. Now is the time to rally the best and brightest minds and most ardent supporters.
3. Go ye IRS compliance requirements. Make sure that you have a policy in the set – and that you are follow them. Ethics, management, and responsible actions speak volumes.
4. If you are lucky to have endowment, use it. Avoid looking at the stock market numbers every day. Keep your mind focused on the future.
5. Talk to the donor base, membership base, and continue to seek grant money. This time, however, do so from a position of excellence. . Do not be reluctant to tout the professional association of peers
The result is this time a great challenge; However, it is also a time of great opportunity. It is time for non-profits to compete like never before (not in petty terms) than in all exude excellence, confidence and strong business acumen.