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The Nonprofit Arena 2010 Outlook
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The Nonprofit Arena 2010 Outlook

In 2010 we can expect a third of the work force in the US to be unemployed or underemployed at some point over the next year! The reported 10% unemployment rate is not the true picture. The actual rate is over 17% when you include the unhappy part time workers and those that have stopped looking for work i.e. discouraged which are labeled a politically correct term “marginally attached” versus unemployed.

The real challenge for the nonprofit arena is to motivate people to do what they are already wired in their mind and hearts to do naturally, which is to give!

How this is done is not rocket science but is based on the principle of truth and honesty.

First and foremost nonprofit organizations need a healthy dose of realism and face the fact that not everyone will be attracted to their cause and that is ok.

Secondly, the best nonprofits are those that are run by people who they themselves believe in the cause. In my opinion people who love what they are doing and would do the job they are doing without pay if they could are the ones who I want on my team, how about you? Wouldn’t you rather work with someone excited to do their job versus someone who is just punching the clock for a paycheck? They answer is obvious and donors to nonprofits are quick to pick up if the people working for that nonprofit are genuine or fakes.

Ok, let’s say you have all the right people leading your nonprofit so what comes next?

The volunteers, namely your board of directors, must be fully committed. It is unreasonable to expect success on raising money from people outside the organization if those inside are not giving to their full potential.

This finally brings me to a critical point of how your nonprofit markets itself to others.

Is your organization financially transparent on how it operates? Can people clearly see how the money they give makes a real and lasting difference in the lives of others?

A donor is an investor in every sense of the word. They not only want, but expect, to see either a direct or indirect outcome for the contribution they have made. You need to be careful that within the organization everything is not so convoluted that a doubt lingers in the mind of your donors. They must know that their contribution made a difference!

People, now more than ever, will be rethinking every aspect of their life and determining what is important and what is fluff.

For the nonprofit this will mean even a tighter squeeze than in 2009 which will cause either drastic cut backs in services for some or close doors permanently for others.

The year 2010 will be remembered not only as the “Year of The Tiger” but also the year that only the strong survived. If you have not watched a Rocky movie lately now might be the time to rent one and get ready!

DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice, or to address specific situations. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor to supplement and verify what you learn here.