The woes local nonprofit organizations faced in 2009 - less support and more individuals needing assistance - continued in 2010 with ongoing concerns about the state of philanthropy in metropolitan Milwaukee, according to a new and expanded survey of local agencies commissioned by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and conducted by the Public Policy Forum.
Sixty-six percent of the nonprofits surveyed for the 14th Annual Report Card on Charitable Giving say the economic downturn has caused a drop in giving. Forty-five percent of the agencies feel the state of philanthropy is getting worse. Of the organizations providing direct services to clients, 62 percent say demand for assistance is increasing.
"Overall, it's the status quo for many organizations and that's bad news considering how many agencies continue to face challenging financial times," said Doug Jansson, president of the foundation. "Oganizations are facing another tough year and for many, the end of this rough stretch is nowhere in sight."
The Report Card on Charitable Giving has changed to respond to the shifting charitable giving landscape nonprofits are experiencing because of the economy. A total of 412 metropolitan area nonprofits were asked to weigh in on their financial health, a significant increase from the traditional 56 bellwether organizations asked in past years. Thirty-seven percent of the organizations responded, giving real-time impressions of how the economy is affecting them and the individuals and families they serve.
Other key findings of the Report Card include:
- Nearly 80 percent of organizations have cut costs due to budget constraints. Freezing salaries and hiring, reducing benefits and staff layoffs are the most common ways nonprofits have controlled costs.
- Despite taking tough steps to control expenses, one-third of agencies expect to run a deficit in 2010.
- Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents report decreased revenue in 2010 while half report increased expenses.
- Forty-six percent of agencies say they expect gifts from corporations to fall, while 43 percent expect gifts from individual donors to drop and 41 percent expect foundation giving to decline.
Arts and culture organizations expressed the greatest concern about their financial health.
- Thirty-five percent of arts and culture organizations report chronic problems, while another 50 percent report they are financially healthy but vulnerable in the future.
Co-sponsors of the Report Card on Charitable Giving include Donors Forum of Wisconsin, The Faye McBeath Foundation and United Way of Greater Milwaukee.
The executive summary and full Report Card on Charitable Giving can be found on the foundation's website, www.greatermilwaukeefoundation.org.