November 26, 2010; Source: News Tribune | We are seeing so many articles about nonprofits threatening to close lately we thought we would try to keep watch to see if they fit any particular mold. Most of those we have noticed are, in fact, relatively small and, it appears that, as they face year’s end, they are sending out flares. In Washington a small 9-year-old program that supported children’s cancer treatment is planning to close in December. In Pennsylvania, a 13-year-old shelter for the homeless, operating on $90,000 per year may need to close on January 1, 2011. The organization recently had a grant worth more than half of its yearly budget cut by 50% and is finding the funding environment very competitive. They have been able to manage to date but as energy costs kick in they will fail without additional donations.
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And in a few cases, programs have closed only to have been revived already. One Ohio sports center, closed as a nonprofit in October 2009, will reopen in January under the same management but as a for-profit and a North Carolina-based therapeutic riding program will reopen in January after closing last month. Its revival, as far as we can make out, is the result of a benefactor buying the 23 acres it is on—resulting in reduced operating costs and an influx of cash. Still, Lifespan, the organization running this program among others for people with disabilities lost $1 million in 2009. Lifespan is mostly supported through government grants.—Ruth McCambridge