Tracking Nonprofits’ Fiscal Health

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As part of its series tracking the nonprofit sector's fiscal health during the economic downturn, the National Council of Nonprofits last month released a report reviewing four national and nine state surveys for steps nonprofits are taking to get through the slump. Coping strategies include partnering with nonprofits and reimagining strategic initiatives. One finding that "struck" the council was the extent to which "savvy" nonprofits are essentially asking funders to level with them about their finances so charitable organizations "know how much [money] to expect, and within what timeframe, in order to conduct realistic financial planning," according to the council report. Part of this is so that nonprofits can hear bad news - that a grant will be smaller or cut entirely - and make adjustments right away. The seven-page bulletin distills information from the surveys it reviewed into tips to help nonprofits deal with a variety of specific financial challenges.