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Economy Continues to Squeeze Charities, New GuideStar Survey Finds

More than half report decreased contributions compared to one year ago

Release Date: July 22, 2009

Washington, D.C., and Williamsburg, Va.—A new GuideStar survey finds that contributions dropped for 52 percent of charitable organizations between March and May 2009.

GuideStar, the leading source of nonprofit information, asked individuals associated with charitable organizations how contribution levels for March through May 2009 compared to those for the same period a year earlier. The results were remarkably similar to the findings from GuideStar's previous nonprofit economic survey, which covered October 2008 through February 2009:

Organizations Reporting Decreased Contributions
March-May 2009: 52%
October 2008-February 2009: 52%

Organizations Reporting Contributions Stayed about the Same
March-May 2009: 29%
October 2008-February 2009: 27%

Organizations Reporting Increased Contributions
March-May 2009: 18%
October 2008-February 2009: 20%

Organizations Responding "Don't Know"
March-May 2009: 1%
October 2008-February 2009: 1%

"Our latest survey presents both a 'glass is half full' and 'glass is half empty' scenario," stated Bob Ottenhoff, GuideStar's president and CEO. "On the one hand, the number of nonprofits reporting decreased contributions remained the same as in our previous survey. On the other hand, participants' comments indicate that their organizations are stretched to the limit. Further, 8 percent still face closure because of financial reasons, and 58 percent report that demand for their services has increased."

About the Survey

A survey of public charity and private foundation employees was conducted on-line June 8-22, 2009. There were 2,279 usable responses, 2,098 (92 percent) from public charities and 181 (8 percent) from private foundations.

Download a free copy of the survey report >

About GuideStar

GuideStar, www.guidestar.org, connects people and organizations with information on the programs and finances of more than 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. GuideStar serves a wide audience inside and outside the nonprofit sector, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and the media.

News Contact:

Suzanne E. Coffman
Director of Communications
(757) 941-1427
scoffman@guidestar.org