Dr. Susan Raymond on what the recent downturn might mean for nonprofits:
Endowments and funds balances are losing value. Some foundations tied to failed firms are no more. “Major” donors may be not so major anymore. Financial uncertainty is rampant from Wall Street to Main Street. Uncertainty is certain.
Still, nonprofit leaders must do more than hang on for the ride:
Therefore, the operative need is for strategy, not panic. In times of turmoil, nonprofits need to step back calmly and revisit all assumptions. Communications tools must be reassessed for both messages and markets. Past supporters must be sorted and culled for those who will emerge from the turmoil first and strongest. New audiences must be identified. New non-philanthropic sources of revenue must be considered, and the costs and benefits of their pursuit weighed. Board members must be engaged in the details of strategy, for they will be critical to execution.
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