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Congrats, Michael!

January 03, 2009

Congratulations to regular contributor Michael Seltzer for authoring a post that became the basis for one of the five most popular Give & Take (Chronicle of Philanthropy) items of the year. Michael's post, "When Wall Street Catches a Cold," appeared in PhilanTopic on January 22 and, as the Chronicle notes, was one of the first posts anywhere to talk about the effects of a prolonged economic downturn on nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. As Michael wrote at the time:

Nonprofits could feel the impact [of a downturn] in a variety of ways:

  • Individual companies, especially in the financial sector, are already reporting major hits to their profits. When profits are down, corporate charitable giving declines.
  • When markets decline, returns on foundation endowments -- and, eventually, grantmaking budgets -- follow suit.
  • When unemployment and economic insecurity rise, individuals cut back on their charitable contributions.
  • As economic activity slows and tax receipts fall, local and state governments are forced to cut social services and expenditures on health and education.

All of which came to pass. In his post, Michael suggested that nonprofits were accustomed to wearing their "belts snugly." But, experienced sector vet that he is, he also offered plenty of advice and food for thought in the months that followed. Here's a sampling of his posts from the year just past:

Thanks, Michael. Looking forward to more advice and wise counsel in 2009!

-- Mitch Nauffts

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