Phyllis Cook: Next year could be tougher for nonprofits

The bounceback on Wall Street has boosted the net worth of many who lost big a year ago. Stiil, said Phyllis Cook, a philanthropic guru who is an adviser to a number of the country’s largest givers, "There is still a feeling that this year will be a tougher and maybe more painful year."

Cook, speaking at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix for the Jewish Funders Network Conference, estimates that nonprofits have seen a 20 percent to 30 percent reduction in funds.

She said that for things to truly get better, the entire nonprofit field is going to have to work more efficiently and work together. And while there has been much talk about doing so, "we still haven’t seen that yet," she said. 

What we are witnessing now, Cook said, is still a correcting of years of misspent charitable dollars that allowed the nonprofit world to grow unchecked.

"We let too many flowers grow, and there may have to be a weeding out," she said. 

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