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July 23, 2010; Source: St. Louis Today | Sometimes we don’t have to offer our opinions or interpretations for the Newswire. Not when observers themselves use words like “worrisome” and “not a pretty picture” to describe the economic stresses facing nonprofits.  In this case, that’s how Amy Rome of the Rome Group, a consulting firm, summed up an annual survey of the financial state of nonprofits in the St. Louis region.

Among the findings from the survey of some 300 organizations: there isn’t much stimulus money left, staff and program cuts have been made, and charitable foundations are giving less from their smaller endowments. “We’re hearing a lot of concern that organizations aren’t just trimming the fat but are already cutting into critical staff and programs, a strategy that will be hard to sustain in the long run,” said Rome.

The one bright spot in the findings: 80 percent of individuals in the St. Louis area the Rome Group surveyed said that they either gave the same or more in 2009, compared with 2008. “While giving is down, people are still giving,” Rome said.—Bruce Trachtenberg