Posted Online: Jan. 08, 2010, 1:43 pm

Local nonprofits feel pressure of economic downturn

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Press release submitted by Ali Rorah, Community Foundation of the Great River Bend

Bettendorf, Iowa - When economic conditions worsened in late 2008, the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend became increasingly concerned about the negative effects the economic climate would have on our community's nonprofit sector. In February 2009, the Community Foundation conducted an online survey to measure the economic health of charitable organizations.

Six months later, the Community Foundation sent a follow-up survey to the same nonprofits inquiring about further changes to their economic health since sharing their feedback at the beginning of the year.

The follow-up survey results revealed a continued strain to operate at a higher capacity with fewer funds available to them:

• Fifty-five percent of nonprofits found obtaining funding to be a major challenge; 3% higher than the national average

• Nearly 70% of nonprofits reported they feel vulnerable in the future

• With more individuals and families dependent on nonprofits, 55% percent of local nonprofits anticipate and are strategically planning to expand services in certain key areas over the next three years

• More than 75% of regional nonprofits claimed they had decided against undertaking a capital campaign in the current economic climate

"Now is the time to support our nonprofits," said Susan Skora, Community Foundation president/CEO. "The Community Foundation conducted this survey to give our community some measure of how the troubled economy is affecting charitable organizations and the constituencies they serve. Part of our mission is to share our knowledge of the needs of our community and convening people around opportunities to address those needs."

The Community Foundation will use these survey results to advise our community, its donors, and funding organizations who want guidance on how to connect with causes and organizations meaningful to them and critical to our community.