With the continuing recession, states forced to slash budgets, and the federal government throwing in the towel in the battle against the “debt/deficit”, the nonprofit sector maybe coming up its strongest headwind yet.
Today the White House announced that the upcoming budget by the President will have considerable slashes (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/us/politics/06budget.html?_r=1) to Community Development Block Grants to save $300 million a year.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy announced that the top 50 charitable givers gave less last year than any year prior (since recording began in 2000) http://philanthropy.com/section/Philanthropy-50/370/
And last month the Republican Study Committee suggested cuts (http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Spending_Reduction_Act–TWOPAGER.pdf) to pretty much every government agency that serves nonprofits in the nation – PBS, CNCS, NEA, Hope IV, etc.
So that being said – is this the toughest time for nonprofits and the sector in history? Or recent memory? I think its definitely the hardest in recent memory. And normally I’m an optimist about these things. However, with such dire circumstances for so many people in the nation, and so few actually prospering (Wall Street) off the stagnated wages of the average worker – its hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or at least anytime soon.
Here’s hoping cooler heads prevail and the sector survives to keep on fighting.