The “It May be Hard Times” NPQ Reader

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I am sure you are thinking about the scenarios your organization might face over the coming year. What will foundations do? Will they become more conservative in their giving in anticipation of reduced assets? What will happen to government spending? Will people continue to give generously as individuals when their own futures are more uncertain? What will happen in our communities when local businesses feel even more squeezed? And how will we respond if entitlements are brought up one-by-one for review in the big political football game we are now calling democratic process?

Such thoughts circulate through my own consciousness continuously. These changes leave us having to work quickly on multiple tracks without being able to predict what might be around the corner in this situation.

We would love to hear how nonprofits in your neck of the woods are thinking about planning in the midst of this chaos. Do you have any advice on approaches, mind-sets or firm strategies to be employed with board, funders, constituents, and government? Write to us and share them.

One thing is clear: We need to organize our communities quickly to have a voice in how social contracts in this country are reorganized and we need to be well networked — not only to create a critical mass of constituents concerned with the well being of the large middle class majority of people of this country, but the poor as well — the ranks of whom have swelled of late. We are now looking at the scary spawn of that chasm that is an untenable widening income inequity and its spouse, a political system increasingly driven by monied interests and we, in the civil sector, need to be able to provide a counterbalance of values and strategies.

I’ve said this before — make sure you are an active part of strong service and advocacy networks. In times of chaos, this connection to networks is best for your constituents and your organization. You will have more continuous access to information, a better ability to collaborate with others to provide core services, and you will develop a stronger voice politically.

In order to help your thinking process in the midst of these changes, we’ve put together a compendium of articles that you might want to consult. Many of them have to do with managing finances in a reduced resource environment but a few have to do with how nonprofits have survived and functioned in the aftermath of disasters.

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