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Things are Changing for Nonprofits, and Not in a Good Way.

Things are Changing for Nonprofits, and Not in a Good Way.

Lately, a number of circumstances have coalesced to make life difficult for nonprofits, especially in Connecticut. Due to the state budget crisis, nonprofits have seen reductions or terminations of contracts; plus the new federal tax law is projected to reduce charitable giving nationally by 12 to 19 billion dollars, and to increase the amount some nonprofits pay in federal taxes.

Earlier this year, the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy and the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance surveyed their members in an effort to learn how nonprofits and funders were experiencing and responding to these challenges. Here are the headline findings:

  • A majority of nonprofits (60%) reported that they have been impacted by the state fiscal crisis and over 40% reported that they have been or expect to be impacted by the new federal tax law.
  • Most funders (72%) reported that they are hearing from their grantees that they are experiencing financial challenges.

Bottom line, times they are a-changing for Connecticut’s nonprofit sector. Will the philanthropic community step up their efforts (and not just financially) to ease the burden on nonprofits?

The survey produced a variety of recommendations. Some suggested that funders consider streamlining their processes to reduce the administrative burden on nonprofits, like using existing information versus asking for new applications. Some suggested that funders offer more general operating support, provide multi-year support, or increase flexibility in the ways nonprofits can use grants.

In early 2018, Liberty Bank Foundation implemented improvements to make our grantee relationships more convenient, including

  • Offering multi-year grants for selected returning grantees.
  • Allowing a favorable grant report to take the place of a new application for grantees who are in year two or three of our grant cycle.
  • Making general operating grants for agencies with which we’ve had an ongoing relationship.
  • Expediting distribution of grant checks for those applications that do not need to be considered by the board.

We also take pride in convening or working on community committees that are addressing issues that no one organization could solve on its own; and traveling to the state capitol to speak in favor of things like affordable housing and early childhood education.

There’s always more to do for funders and nonprofits because there will always be need. How are we supporting you? Can we do something faster or better, or take on another role that will benefit the community as a whole? Please let us know.