Challenging economy and changing donor base
The not-for-profit (NPO) sector, sometimes called the third or philanthropic sector, continues to be the fastest growing of the three economic sectors (government, business and not-for-profit).
When our economy suffered the longest and deepest recession since The Great Depression, the NPO sector suffered in significant ways. During the period from 2007 to the present, it is estimated that 150,000-250,000 501(c) 3 organizations closed. The Terrapin team had worked through five (5) previous recessions. In past recessions the NPO sector, while naturally recovering at a slower rate than the larger economy (usually lagging 12-18 months), Terrapin predicted that the recovery time of the latest recession would see a recovery lag among NPO’s of 24-36 months. In spite of the official announcement out of Washington that the recession ended in June 2009, reality suggested otherwise.
True to the Terrapin prediction, the NPO sector saw a leveling in 2013 and according to Giving USA (new figures will be published in July of 2016 for the year 2015), NPO’s as a whole saw a slight increase in philanthropic giving in 2014.
A lingering fallout from the recession is that federal and state government funding for NPO’s has been severely curtailed and likely will never return to previous levels. This outcome places a higher responsibility on the philanthropic (NPO) sector to fill in the gaps. The challenge for NPO’s is that donor demographics have changed, donors have become even more discriminating and analytical in the decision-making process regarding where they give their philanthropic contributions as the Millennials enter philanthropy.
Terrapin welcomes this challenge to our clients. It helps us to look at effectiveness and efficiency issues. Are our clients true to your claimed mission? For Terrapin, it places a greater emphasis on our long-held philosophy that the NPO sector must become collaborative and cooperative among like kind organizations, even perhaps to the point of collaborative mergers. Our experience can help you achieve those measures!
Walt and our associates are committed to helping NPOs adapt your strategies and build the capacity of your board and staff to attain transformational results. We all enjoy a role of counseling our clients to enhance higher education programs and facilities, improve healthcare and research, grow literacy rates, provide youth-in-crises with programs and services, offer better facilities and programs for youth centers, supply food and shelter to the economically challenged and homeless.
The additions of Dirk Smith, Joe Schafer and Jeannette Balleza Collins enhance Terrapin’‘s ability to support client needs.
Terrapin uniquely mentors NPO staff and leadership to employ portfolios and “moves management” to build the engagement of volunteers, prospects and donors. We help outline an action plan, budget and calendar so that you can monitor your progress and alter plans to meet changing social, political and economic conditions.