In another sign of the escalating impact of the recession on the giving sector, a new survey by GuideStar says the percentage of nonprofits reporting a drop in contributions grew to 52 percent in the five months through February from 34 percent for the nine months through last September.
“The economy is having a profound impact on nonprofits, Bob Ottenhoff, president and CEO of GuideStar, says in a statement.
The decline in giving in a period that included the last three months of the year, when giving traditionally increases, Ottenhoff says, “indicates the severity of the financial challenges nonprofits are facing.”
Of nonprofits that reported a drop in donations, 71 percent said fewer individuals gave and their gifts were smaller.
Thirty-one percent of grantmakers surveyed said they gave less money in grants over the five-month period.
And 35 percent of organizations cut their annual budgets from 2008 to 2009, with 57 percent of them reducing services, 45 percent freezing staff salaries and 30 percent laying off staff.
Eight percent of organizations reported there are in imminent danger of shutting down because financial resources are lacking.
The survey of employees of public charities and private foundations was conducted online March 2-16 and included 2,753 responses from public charities and 226 responses from private foundations.