October 7, 2010; Source: Long Beach News | According to the director for the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership, a nonprofit management support organization, the long economic recession and its effects on nonprofits has experts wondering if this is the “new normal.” Long Beach organizations facing fundraising challenges in the “new normal” include the Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter and service provider which has seen its funding plateau and individual charitable contributions drop, despite an increase in people seeking shelter and assistance.

The Mission has gotten some foundation and corporation grants, but not enough to compensate for the drop in individual charitable contributions. The head of the Rescue Mission is now looking at converting some of the organization’s programs to fee-for-service and has designed an internship-placement program in which interns give back a portion of their earnings to support the Rescue Mission.

At Comprehensive Child Development, Inc., which provides low cost child care to low-income families, the organization is going to have to lay off staff unless the state legislature solves its budget stalemate soon, since state revenues account for 95 percent of its revenues. Alternatives for CCD don’t seem to be readily available.

Other federal funds don’t look like they would be easily accessible for nonprofits. The Long Beach News cited an RFP from HUD distributed by the City of Long Beach Department of Community Development. The RFP had 26 pages of instructions that social service organizations would have to deal with in return for applying for a maximum of $15,000. The LBNP director suggested nonprofits diversify their funding for long term sustainability, but the prospects for funding diversification in the “new normal” don’t look like they’re immediately in the offing for Long Beach nonprofits that serve the very poor.—Rick Cohen