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Social Service nonprofit organizations have long been relied upon to provide services to those in need in the United States. Federal, state and local governments increasingly depend on Social Service nonprofit organizations and, because of that dependency, have been willing to help fund them.
The U.S. government funding accounts for approximately one-third of the annual revenue received by nonprofit organizations, primarily through grants and contracts. The largest portion of these grants and contracts, according to an Urban Institute 2013 study, is received by Social Service organizations.
However, the government funding to Social Service organizations is not without challenges.
Challenges due to the government-nonprofit dependency include:
While the challenges presented can seem significant, they can be overcome. Leadership and management recommendations for overcoming the government-nonprofit dependency include:
Social Service nonprofit organizations face many challenges in acomplishing their missions. The dependence on government grants and contracts is one such challenge, which can be volatile at times as well as time-consuming, complicated and bureaucratic. However, the issues that arise from government funding can be overcome by Social Service nonprofit organizations through strategic planning, using the best practices of diversifying revenue, setting funds aside for when times get tough, making sure the board is strong and invested, spending on overhead to help increase financial stability and joining with other nonprofits on joint programatic and fundraising opportunities. Strategically implementing the recommendations can help to build financial stability, helping to improve communities and increasing the quality of life for future generations.
Kate Albaugh-Wayan is a graduate of the Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management program at Arizona State University. Kate currently works as a Partnership Ambassador for Excelsior College, a nonprofit educational institution. Prior to working at Excelsior College, she worked at the United Service Organizations (USO), a nonprofit that supports military members and their families. Kate is passionate about the nonprofit field and making a difference in the communities for which she lives. She is an Army spouse with a motto of leaving every duty station a little better than when she arrived. Her passion for helping others is what led her to Arizona State University’s Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management program, wanting to learn more about the nonprofit field and how she could make a larger positive impact in the world. She currently has a B.S. in Chemistry, B.A. in Psychology, Master of Arts in Teaching and is excited to be a graduate from ASU with her MNLM. When she is not studying, she spends her time volunteering in the local community, spending time with her spouse and taking long walks with her three Weimaraner puppies.