With the help of some local foundations, the 45-year-old Phoenix-based Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development made the decision to file for bankruptcy in December and is transferring all of its programs to other nonprofits even as it liquidates its assets to pay existing debts.
Bloomberg reported in 2014 that “Moody’s, which rates more than 500 public and private nonprofit colleges and universities, downgraded an average of 28 institutions annually in the five years through 2013, more than double the average of 12 in the prior five-year period.”
Sunlight Foundation’s technical arm is definitely shutting down, and there are uncomfortable indicators about the foundation itself. What do Sunlight’s woes have to say about the value of making government transparent and accountable through data, tools, policy and journalism?
Surprise is never a good management strategy, as the closing of a center for adults with disabilities illustrates. Retreating to the “incident room” as board and senior staff is not always the most productive response to a rolling crisis. If this organization had reached out to its field of colleagues would we now be looking at a different outcome?