July 7, 2010; Source: Green Bay Press Gazette | Even the stoic Vince Lombardi, coach of the Green Bay Packers, might not have had a pithy quote to help the Green Bay nonprofit sector. He was able to lift his Packers teams with sayings such as “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” and “winners never quit and quitters never win,” but nonprofits need more than aphorisms to boost them over the goal line.
The Greater Green Bay Community Foundation surveyed 74 local nonprofits about their financial health, future outlook, fundraising, staffing, and capacity, and found that conditions in 2009 didn’t improve for many. According to the survey, 46 percent said that their donations declined, particularly among arts organizations, half of which reported a drop in donations compared to 34 percent of all of the surveyed groups.
Health care organizations said that demands for services increased though three-fourths reported that their staffing levels had not changed. Among human services organizations, three-fourths reported increasing demands but more than half said that their overall revenues declined.
Lombardi once said that “confidence is contagious (and) so is lack of confidence,” but the surveyed nonprofits don’t seem to be short on confidence or determination. Despite the hardships faced by Green Bay’s nonprofit sector, it appears they’re taking to heart another Lombardi maxim: “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” We don’t sense any surrender in this bunch.—Rick Cohen