Survey Respondents Overwhelmingly Express Concern over Government Shutdown

The vast majority of nonprofit professionals (63 percent) responding to an unscientific Michael Rosen Says… survey say that they expect the US government partial shutdown will negatively affect their nonprofit organization or they are concerned it might.

Worry by spoo0ky via FlickrThe shutdown affects nonprofits in a variety of ways. Organizations that rely on government grants have seen those grant payments delayed or withheld. Organizations that do government contract work are seeing payments delayed. Organizations that assist individuals in need are seeing an increased demand for their services.

In addition to those negative effects, 28 percent of survey respondents expect the government’s partial shutdown will result in less philanthropic support this year.

Interestingly, 67 percent of survey respondents expect that the shutdown will hurt the nation’s economy. Because overall philanthropy closely correlates to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, at a rate of approximately two percent, we can expect overall philanthropy to be negatively affected if the shutdown slows the already weak economy.

Despite the concerns of nonprofit professionals, only 20 percent have some sort of plan for dealing with the shutdown situation. The majority of professionals (57 percent) have not even discussed the government’s partial shutdown and how it might affect their organization.

Politics aside, the longer the partial government shutdown continues, the more disruptive it will be. That’s why it is critically important for every nonprofit organization to consider how it might be affected by the shutdown and its possible impact on the economy and philanthropy. And, if appropriate, nonprofit organizations should develop a plan to cope with the situation.

Nancy Schwartz, on her blog Getting Attention!, has written an excellent post that explores how several nonprofit organizations are dealing with the government’s partial shutdown. Nancy sees the current situation as a great opportunity for fundraising and advocacy campaigns. If you want to know what other organizations are doing about the current situation, be sure to read her post.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has published an excellent article that looks at how the government’s partial shutdown is affecting the nonprofit sector and what some organizations are doing about it. It’s another terrific read.

These are challenging times for the nonprofit sector. Ignoring the situation is not a wise idea. Those organizations that carefully plan will be the nonprofits that fair the best. So, what is your organization doing to cope with the shutdown situation?

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?

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