The Quiet Crisis: The Impact of the Economic Downturn on the Nonprofit Sector

The Quiet Crisis: The Impact of the Economic Downturn on the Nonprofit Sector

Civic Enterprises and the Democratic Leadership Council have issued a new study of economy-related challenges facing the nonprofit sector. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the report, The Quiet Crisis: The Impact of the Economic Downturn on the Nonprofit Sector (22 pages, PDF), found that human service organizations, including churches that assist the poor and needy, raised billions less than anticipated in 2008, while some agencies saw demand for services double. Written by former Bush and Clinton domestic policy advisors John Bridgeland and Bruce Reed, the report also examined the findings of a December 2008 Bridgespan Group survey which found that 75 percent of nonprofits reported they were already feeling the effects of the economic downturn and 52 percent reporting cuts in their funding. The authors recommended several policy changes to help spur nonprofit recovery, including passage of the Serve America Act, adopting tax incentives to expand private giving and volunteering, and utilizing nonprofit housing and financial institutions to help solve the nation's mortgage and foreclosure crises.