Nonprofits work to avoid layoffs

As nonprofits continue to be squeezed by rising demand and falling revenue, many nonprofit operations executives are hoping cost-cutting measures will forestall layoffs, a new report says.

Most chief financial officers and chief operations officers surveyed by Bridgespan say layoffs are a last resort and worry that losing staff would mean a decrease in services for constituents.

To keep layoffs at bay, many nonprofits are instituting one or more cost-saving measures:

* Redeploying staff and volunteers to other areas, primarily fundraising

* Renegotiating contracts with vendors, many of which would rather alter terms than lose business

* Cutting staff salaries, benefits and bonuses, and mandating furloughs

* Consolidating operations

* Increasing communications and transparency with all stakeholders

* Grooming volunteers to take on jobs formerly handled by staff

* Soliciting help from board members in fundraising, planning and other areas

* Looking for ways to retain their best staffers

Bridgestar is a program of the Bridgespan Group and works boost leadership in the nonprofit sector.

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