A Looming Crisis in Utah

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October 28, 2010; Source: Salt Lake Tribune | The Utah Nonprofit Association celebrated 20 years of service last Thursday. As the umbrella association for the state’s nonprofits, it has grown from 18 members to more than 600. But the future of the sector it represents is looking decidedly uncertain.

A recent study by the Community Foundation of Utah and Wells Fargo details just how dire the situation is for nonprofits in the Beehive State. The study, Continued Hardship, a Looming Crisis, measures the impact of the recession in what can only be described as “bleak” terms: “14 percent of these agencies have no money in the bank; the majority of the nonprofits that participated in this survey—58 percent—only have enough money on hand to keep their doors open 3 months or less; only 28 percent of all agencies have a suggested minimum of 6 months of reserve capital on hand.”

The financial crisis that has hit these organizations is happening at a time of increased demand, stretching limited resources even further. If a third of the state’s nonprofits close, there’ll be little to celebrate for those who rely on them.—Timothy Lyster