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Women's World Health Initiative
LATEST FINANCIAL STUDY PREDICTS A LOOMING CRISIS FOR MANY UTAH NONPROFITS
SALT LAKE CITY, UT, October 6, 2010 —For the past two years the Community Foundation of Utah andThe foundation’s latest study covers the first nine months of 2010 and reveals that as many as a third of
Wells Fargo have been surveying state’s charities to see how the nonprofit sector was faring during the
recession. The studies have tracked the impact of a perfect storm – decreases in giving and more demand
from individuals and families in need. 178 nonprofits responded to the survey.
the state’s nonprofit organizations are in danger of closing their doors. Why? A continued decline in
donations, limited if any reserve funds, and a continued increase in demand for assistance.Nearly three years of a down economy have taken a profound toll on Utah’s nonprofits. The continued
declines in giving have depleted operating reserve capital, meaning that too many nonprofits are, like
their clients, living month to month. Donations from corporations, foundations, government contracts
and individuals continued to erode in 2010.
The need for assistance has not decreased.
- 64% of the agencies have seen donations decrease since the start of 2010.
- 75% of health and human service agencies say donations have decreased since the beginning of
the year perhaps, pointing to donor fatigue as the recession wears on.
- 14% of these agencies have no money in the bank. Anecdotal evidence from foundations has
confirmed an uptick in ‘pay day loans’ to help agencies make payroll. Other foundations report
that they have been asked by their long term partners to push an expected annual gift forward,
or to make an additional emergency gift.
- 58% have enough money on hand to keep their doors open 3 months or less.
Given that funds continue to decline and need continues to increase, the stress on nonprofit leadership,
- 78% of all reporting agencies and 92% of health and human service providers say that the
demand for their services and programs rose again in 2010.
- 68% of rural organizations say “The people we serve continue to suffer the impact of the
including staff, executive directors and their boards is considerable. This survey found evidence of the
results of three years of unrelenting pressures, including staff and board burn out. However, Utah’s
nonprofit leaders share a deep passion for their causes and their organizations. Pockets of
encouragement exist in all sectors.
The Community Foundation of Utah is working to bring new resources to nonprofits by ‘engaging the
- 69% of the agencies have added new donors since the start of the recession.
- 65% have started or enhanced a new media strategy, using the web to reach new audiences.
- Arts organizations report a steady increase in ticket sales each of the past three years. This may
reflect great efforts to increase awareness of the vital importance these cultural institutions play in
our community as well as increased marketing efforts.
giving minds’ of Utah’s entrepreneurs. The need for innovation is now, and the results can, as this
Executive Director wrote, ensure a bright future for the organizations that make Utah a wonderful place
to grow businesses, families and community. “What's amazing is that the lack of financial resources has forced us to re-evaluate everything we're
doing and refine our programs and plans and finances. Because of the recession, our organization is
100 times better and our programs are going to be FAR more efficient. We've learned that money
isn't necessarily our biggest bottleneck, and have learned to work around it. I've never been so
optimistic about our future.”