Welcome | Summer 2003

Welcome to our world—the world that nonprofits are, and will be inhabiting, for the next few years. This issue of the Nonprofit Quarterly has attempted not only to bring to the surface many of the contextual issues that may challenge us in the near future, but has also tried to suggest actions that we may all wish to take. There are a number of jewels in this issue—articles that urge us to greater clarity in our purposes and values, and to greater influence in the future of this country. 
We have also, for the first time, included a Letters to the Editor section—there is a link between these two things. The letters are drawn from the overwhelming response to our May e-Newsletter, dealing with the general suppression of dissent and the associated threat to civil liberties—and the connection between that threat and the erosion of our right to exist as a sector, and as individual nonprofits. We have reprinted that e-Newsletter here.

Who’s Promoting the General Welfare?

A “social contract” providing for justice, equity, and opportunity has been a cornerstone of our national aspirations from the beginning. Nonetheless, author Jeff Madrick explains, deepening disparities in wealth and political influence signify that it’s time to stir up a fuss.

Responsible Retrenchment: Advice to Nonprofits

Most organizations are operating with little or no cushion in the current financial crisis, but Denise Williams advises that strategies be integrated into everyday management practices. This involves deep, honest decisions about ways to scale back, maximize productivity, or resolve to close up shop all together—if that makes more sense.

Cash flow

Improving Cash Flow Management In Challenging Times: A Primer

Revenue is so unstable in these times, it’s especially important to monitor your cash flow. Author Murray Dropkin offers a complete refresher on how to budget a surplus, establish policies and train your staff with such fiscal sense in mind. People with less experience in this area or smaller organizations might find this especially helpful.

From Funders to Funders: Advice on Giving in Hard Times

How should foundations understand their charitable missions in hard economic times? Should they increase their payout in response to dire and immediate local circumstances, or focus on asset-building and maintenance in anticipation of future need? NPQ asked three foundation executives for their insights into grant levels, funding emphases and policy advocacy.