Nonprofits continue to struggle

With demand increasing for almost six in 10 nonprofits, and contributions falling for more than half, U.S. charities are continuing to feel the effects of the recession, a new report says.

In comparing the spring of 2009 with the spring of 2008, 52 percent of charities have seen their contributions fall, while fewer than two in 10 saw increases, says the survey conducted by GuideStar.

And more than a third of grantmakers have awarded less in grants this spring than last, while fewer than one in four awarded more.

At the same time, more than four in 10 funders reported receiving more funding requests this year, with only one in 10 receiving fewer.

Among nonprofits that cut their budgets this spring, over half did so by reducing program activities, 44 percent imposed salary freezes, a third froze hiring, and one in three laid off staff.

About eight percent of nonprofits report they are in “imminent danger” of having to close their doors for financial reasons, the report says.

“One senses that at many organizations where things were going badly earlier in the year, they are going worse now,” the report says. “Reserves are being burned up and services that had already been cut have been cut further.”

On a positive note, almost three in 10 nonprofits saw in increase in volunteers over the same period, while fewer than one in 10 lost volunteers.

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