Survey: Nonprofits move past recession

The majority of nonprofit organizations in southeastern Wisconsin have recovered from the Great Recession and most expect more donations in 2013 than they received in 2012, according to a new report.

The first BizTimes Nonprofit Survey was conducted by a class of advanced journalism students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The survey asked the top executives at organizations in the BizTimes Nonprofit Directory to assess their charities’ financial health and document their ongoing needs.

To view the full report, including comments from dozens of nonprofit executives in the region, in a page-turning format, click here.

Executives from 79 nonprofit organizations responded to the survey.

According to the report, 62 percent of the respondents say their organizations have recovered from the Great Recession that caused great duress for most of the charities throughout the region.

Furthermore, 71 percent of the responding organizations expect to receive more donations in 2013 than in 2012.

The percentages of positive respondents in the survey surprised many executives in the nonprofit industry.

“The nonprofit sector gets hit later and takes longer to recover,” said Deborah Fugenschuh, president of the Wisconsin Donors Forum.  “I’m surprised that people are so optimistic. People didn’t stop giving because they wanted to stop, they just didn’t have the resources. As the stock market comes back, individuals and foundations will return to their previous giving level.”

“The survey results illustrate that the nonprofit sector remains resourceful and responsive to community needs, even in times of economic downturn, when the demand for our services grows,” says Amalia Schoone, president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Southeastern Wisconsin.

The survey was sent to the organizations that had compiled listings in the BizTimes Nonprofit Directory at

The groundbreaking project was conducted as a service to the community.

The survey was conducted by advanced journalism students at UWM. The students in the “Advanced Reporting” class who conducted the survey and collected remarks from the nonprofit executives and others in the industry were: Marley Flueger, James Gutierrez, John Kroeger, Jacob Larsen, Samantha Nash, Aubree Omachinski, Christine Pedretti, Maxwell Thiesenhusen, Harrison Turner and Kyle Zittel.

The students compiled the special report under the direction of BizTimes executive editor Steve Jagler, who taught the course.

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