Skagit Valley Hospital

Eye of the Storm

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The Foundation Center has created an excellent resource for nonprofits to use in coping with the economic crisis: http://foundationcenter.org/focus/economy/.  A particularly thought provoking feature is the one-hour long podcast featuring a conversation between Guidestar President and CEO Robert G. Ottenhoff and Foundation Center President Bradford K. Smith.  The two discuss the contrast between nonprofits’ reactions to the economic downturn compared to that of foundations.

Ottenhoff believes that we still may have to wait to see the full impact on giving as a result of the economic crisis. Smith warned of the possibility of a “cliff effect” when stimulus money runs out. Hearing all this, I can understand the impulse to run for the root cellar and wait the storm out to assess the damage – which, apparently, is what a lot of nonprofits are doing. However, I agree with both Ottenhoff and Smith that now is the time when smart organizations should tighten up their programs and strengthen their fundraising efforts, particularly those efforts targeting individual donors as they are the most likely to bounce back more quickly in terms of their giving once things begin to look a bit sunnier.

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