Nonprofits Report Poor Communication and Little Help From Foundations During the Economic Downturn
A new report by the Center for Effective Philanthropy found that nonprofit organizations believe foundations have offered little help and communicated poorly with them during this long economic downturn. According to the report, foundation giving — while only a small portion of most nonprofits' budgets — declined by approximately 8.4 percent in 2009, and foundation giving isn't projected to increase until 2011.
Additionally, CFEP surveyed more than 6,000 grantees of 37 foundations across the nation about the grantee/foundation relationship. Here's what they reported:
- Nonprofits do not perceive funders to have communicated their responses to the economic downturn clearly, if at all.
- Nonprofits report that funders have offered them little useful help in responding to the challenges of the downturn.
According to the report, "When asked how clearly, if at all, foundations had communicated with grantees about their response to the economic climate, 30 percent of grantees indicate that no such communication had occurred. Of those grantees that did report receiving communication, 22 percent indicate that their funder’s response to the current economic climate was unclear. This is almost three times the number of grantees that rate other communications from their funders as unclear."
To help combat poor communications and build a stronger relationship with grantees, survey respondents offered this advice to foundations:
- Clearly communicate with grantees about their own responses to the economic climate.
- Be involved in helping grantees consider changes they are making in response to the economic climate.
- Work to build better relationships with grantees, particularly by taking the time to understand the goals and strategies of grantee organizations.
To download the report, click here.