Anjali Deshmukh

Research Friday: Government contracting part II: Adapting in an era of less

 

posted by
Anjali Deshmukh,
Director

and
Angela Francis,
Manager
Nonprofit Finance Fund

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing series,we invite a nonprofit scholar, student, or professional to highlight current research reports or studies and discuss how they can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice.

Conducted in January and February 2013, Nonprofit Finance Fund’s 2013 State of the Sector survey assessed the financial and management challenges facing 5,983 organizations across the country. As income disparity continues to grow, many nonprofits are struggling to meet overwhelming community need amid the stark realities of funding cuts. Many are recognizing that this dynamic may be here to stay.

When NFF began this survey in 2009, many of our clients were in “triage” mode: they were dealing with mission and finance-related emergencies, relying on short-term coping strategies—like reserve depletion and staff furloughs—to make ends meet until the financial crisis was over. Five years later, temporary stimulus funding has come and gone, replaced instead by ongoing cuts to government funding. Organizations reliant on government funding continue to experience a “death by a thousand cuts,” says NFF client Sharon Stapel, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “In isolation, the cuts may seem small,” says Stapel, “but over time, they speak to a larger, more serious trend that will have an impact on the health, happiness, and safety of our communities.”

Research Friday: Government contracting in the new normal

 

posted by
Anjali Deshmukh,
Associate Director

and
Angela Francis,
Senior Associate
Nonprofit Finance Fund

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing series,we invite a nonprofit scholar, student, or professional to highlight current research reports or studies and discuss how they can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice.

Nonprofit Finance Fund’s (NFF) 2013 State of the Sector survey explored a variety of financial and management challenges facing organizations across the country. The core story, as told by nearly 6,000 respondents, is of a fragile balancing act between rising community need and shrinking or stagnant resources for social programs. Particularly in the last several years, in the wake of the financial crisis, organizations have struggled with a variety of challenges related to government support.

In the United States, we rely on government to provide key economic supports. We expect the federal, state, and local governments to play a role in educating our children, helping communities rebuild after natural disasters, and improving our collective quality of life. To deliver on this mandate, services like public education are administered by the government, while many other complementary programs - such as job training and placement - are outsourced to nonprofits. According to a 2010 Urban Institute study, nonprofit organizations (with records of income data) reported that nearly one-third of their revenue sources came from the government.

Small nonprofits, big impact

posted by
Anjali Deshmukh,
Associate Director

and
Angela Francis,
Senior Associate
Nonprofit Finance Fund

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit scholar, student, or professional to highlight current research reports or studies and discuss how they can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice.

There are over 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States. Of those, three-quarters (almost 1.2 million) have annual budgets under $1 million, and most are even smaller. What these organizations lack in size, however, they make up for in impact. They respond to localized needs, are absolutely critical to community building, and are staffed by people with deep knowledge and caring for the communities where they live and work. These organizations often serve communities that have been abandoned by countless others. Yet, in the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s (NFF) work with small nonprofits (most recently through our Capital and Capacity for Economic Recovery Initiative), we’ve found that these essential organizations often struggle to match available funding sources to their actual needs, which results in a number of challenges. So what are some of these challenges, and what makes small nonprofits different from their larger counterparts? Our new report, Small Organizations Solving Big Problems, explores this question.