Bridgespan and Johns Hopkins studies document nonprofit downturn

Posted on: June 30, 2009

In Monday’s (6/29) Chronicle of Philanthropy, Ben Gose and Caroline Preston report, “Two studies released this week offer fresh evidence that the recession has created havoc for nonprofit groups: Ninety-two percent of the nearly 100 respondents in a survey conducted in May by the Bridgespan Group said they were feeling the effects of the downturn. Eighty percent of charity officials reported that their organizations were experiencing financial stress, in another study conducted in April by the Johns Hopkins University’s Listening Post Project. … Despite the deepening unemployment rate and stagnant stock market, the study found that charity leaders were optimistic about their organizations’ financial picture. Forty-five percent said they expected their groups’ financial outlook to be better in a year. Just 22 percent thought their outlook would be worse. … Only 13 percent of the respondents said they were concerned about their nonprofit organization’s survival. But those numbers rose significantly among people at theaters and orchestras, which were the hardest hit of all charities in the study. Twenty-four percent of orchestra leaders and 33 percent of theater officials reported concern about their groups’ fate.”

Posted June 30, 2009