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Nonprofits work to weather recession

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U.S. nonprofits are employing a number of strategies, including layoffs and program cuts, to shore up their organizations and improve their chances of surviving the recession, a new report says.

With demand on the rise and revenue still falling, the majority of the nation’s nonprofits are making cuts in a number of areas, says the National Council of Nonprofit’s review of recent research.

One in three nonprofits has been forced to dip into their operating reserves, while two in three smaller groups have less than three months worth of cash reserves on hand, says a survey by the Bridgespan Group.

More than half have reduced services and more than a third reduced their budgets, a report from Guidestar says.

Almost half have explored partnerships with other groups, more than half have cut administrative costs, and four in 10 have trimmed or eliminated travel budgets, says the Johns Hopkins University Listening Post Project.

About one in three nonprofits have laid off staff or eliminated positions, more than a third have instituted salary freezes, and more than four in 10 are putting off new hires, the surveys say.

Going forward, the National Council of Nonprofits recommends nonprofits become more involved in the public-policy debate and work together as a sector at the statewide and national levels.

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