Post-Recession Budgets and Boards

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October 27, 2013; Kitsap Sun


NPQ has been hearing so many stories recently about groups who have hung in through the recession and its aftermath, only to find that an anticipated upturn was nowhere in sight. This can be demoralizing and exhausting, and it drives people to completely reform their business models. This story seems to be of that ilk. There were 15 members on the board of the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council until September, when a third of the board left.

“Nobody left in anger as these things happen in the nonprofit world,” said Barbara Sacerdote, the council’s executive director, but “the roots of it started when we lost all of our city funding in 2011 ($300,000). Since then, we’ve been trying to reinvent ourselves.” Sacerdote said that, overall, the group’s budget decreased from $821,271 in 2008 to $327,700 in 2013.

NPQ believes (maybe wrongly) that many organizations are out there facing similar straits. We’d be interested to hear from you. What has your organization experienced in terms of funding these past few years, and how has your board reacted?—Ruth McCambridge