February 13, 2014; SeacoastOnline

A report from Portland, Maine about the closing of a city-run clinic that provided healthcare for 2300 homeless people each year should remind us that wherever possible, we should guard against overdependence on one source of funding. The clinic’s fate was decided when it lost a federal grant that provided approximately a third of its annual budget of $1.8 million.

The $680,000 grant will be redistributed to the Portland Community Health Center, but city officials are worried that this will not meet the special needs of homeless patients. And although the clinic was not formally a nonprofit, it provides a reason to take a moment to stop and reflect.

NPQ has written quite a bit about revenue mixes in nonprofits. Some of these articles can be accessed here: Jon Pratt’s classic “Analyzing the Dynamics of Funding: Reliability and Autonomy” and “In Search of Sustainable Funding: Is Diversity Really the Answer?” from William Foster, Ben Dixon, and Matt Hochstetler.—Ruth McCambridge