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GuideStar Blog

From the President's Office, March 2009

Dear Friend,

Here at GuideStar we are in contact with thousands of charities every month, and we have been impressed with your stories of economic challenge. Last November, we published the results of our annual nonprofit economic survey. The story received widespread attention, including that of foundations and donors.

In our survey last fall, 64 percent of you told us that demand for your organizations' services was up, and 60 percent reported that contributions had dropped or were stagnant. There was some good news: 35 percent of you said that contributions had increased.

Since then, however, the economy has deteriorated further, and countless news stories have reported on food banks with empty shelves, human service charities overwhelmed by requests for assistance from the newly unemployed, nonprofit layoffs, and more.

To get a better idea of the impact the economy is having on the nation's charitable organizations, we are conducting a follow-up economy survey. We launched it last Monday (March 2) by inviting 41,900 Newsletter subscribers associated with 501(c)(3) organizations to participate.

The survey will run through March 16. If your organization is a 501(c)(3) public charity or private foundation that you would like represented in the survey, you can take the survey. A gratifying number of people have already participated, but the more organizations that respond, the better.

Our goal is to create a snapshot not only of how nonprofits are faring but also of the steps they are taking to cope with the economy. We will release the results to the media, post them on our Web site, and publish them in the April Newsletter. We hope that this information will inspire donors to make this difficult time easier for nonprofits—and through them, for the audiences we all serve.


Bob Ottenhoff
President and CEO

Topics: Economy