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Quote of the Day (October 18, 2008)

October 18, 2008

Quotemarks"...[M]ost of us have done our work in boom times in philanthropy, with parallel growth in nonprofit budgets. But what we have ahead of us is quite different.

"Virtually every foundation endowment stands at considerably less value today than it did only a few weeks ago, and assuming our institutions meet the commitments they have previously made, which most will, there will be dramatically less money to give out in the next few years, at least. Nonprofits fortunate to have endowments are also hurting -- over the weekend I ran into a friend, the leader of one such organization, who has carefully built a reserve fund in the last several years only to see it drop by 30 percent in the flash of an eye. Such stories will be standard fare in the weeks and months to come.

"Corporate philanthropy will be dramatically reduced, and among those in the financial services industry who have kept their jobs -- or, indeed, their firms -- most will be much less generous in their personal giving. Government revenues and social spending will continue to shrink -- the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities just looked at the budget gaps of fifteen states, from California to Rhode Island, reeling from the credit crunch and found six whose deficits are 10 percent or more of the total budget. All of this will have a sharp effect on the funding and programs of nonprofit organizations. And in what kind of social climate? One in which human need -- foreclosure, unemployment, greater health problems even less covered by insurance, hunger, homelessness, crime and violence -- grows ever more acute.

"What we are facing, then, is a kind of perfect storm...."

-- Gara LaMarche, President/CEO, Atlantic Philanthropies, "The State of Our Union in Crisis: Widening the Lens of Children and Families"

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  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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