WSJ: Non-profits brace for further slow-down

The Wall Street Journal today weighed in on how the economy might effect non-profits.

The short of it is that they are bracing for the worst.

At Covenant House New York, the nation’s largest adolescent-care agency, which serves homeless, runaway and at-risk youths, board members convened Thursday and discussed a possible “doomsday” scenario in case they lose upwards of 40% of their income, said Georgia Boothe, the nonprofit’s associate executive director. The charity needs to raise about $3 million through direct mail in December, she said, adding, “We’re worried.” Direct-mail giving in July was off 15%, she said.

New York-based City Harvest, which feeds the hungry and has counted Lehman among its top five corporate donors, had set a goal of raising $5.7 million between November and January and $3 million in December alone. Much of that was expected to come from Wall Street bonuses.

“Things have changed drastically in the last week or two,” said executive director Jilly Stephens, who said the need for her group’s services is rising. “We’re heading into a period of the unknown.”

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