Wisconsin nonprofits cope with economic challenges

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Madison-based Forward Community Investments recently conducted a survey of nonprofit organizations throughout the state to understand how organizations have managed to serve more constituents with fewer resources. The study was focused on four major areas including future outlook on funding; cash flow and capital; organizational capacity and collaborative readiness. The results indicated that while commitment to fulfilling the mission remained high, some nonprofit organizations are worried about their organizations future.
"In these tough economic times, it is admirable that nonprofits are demonstrating a strong future commitment to the people of Wisconsin," said Salli Martyniak, Forward Community Investments president. "We don’t always recognize that nonprofits contribute to the quality of our daily lives but they do. Whether they shelter the homeless, care for our aging population, educate our children or contribute to the arts."
The study was based on a representative sample of Wisconsin nonprofit organizations and one-on-one interviews with nonprofit leaders.
According to the study, three-quarters of nonprofit organizations in the state feel financially healthy, but more than half of them are concerned about their organizations future, and cash flow problems related to the recession have increased.
The survey also indicated that many nonprofit organizations have adapted their services models to better achieve their mission, and there was a significant increase in collaborative activities between nonprofits; 44 percent in 2009 up to 90 percent in 2010 .
The survey reflects the larger commitment of Forward Community Investments to partner with nonprofits across Wisconsin in order to build stronger communities, Martyniak said.

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