You’ve seen the news. You know it’s tough out there. Just this morning I saw the following headlines on my Chronicle of Philanthropy RSS feed: “Charitable Donations Fell by Nearly 6% in 2008”, “Ford Foundation Offers Buyouts to One-Third of Employees”, and “Robert Wood Johnson (Foundation) Offers Buyout to 40% of its Employees”. Tough stuff indeed. I’m sure that you have your own stories about what the current economic situation has meant to your family and friends. So, the question is this: Is there any way to survive, maybe even thrive, in such circumstances? We resoundingly say, “Yes!” Consider this your 2009 Nonprofit Survival Guide.
First off, stop listening to the news. I mean it…turn it off. I’m not advocating locking yourself into a cave and shutting out the world. But, the constant drumbeat of negativity takes its toll on you after a while. I saw a great sign on a realty office near my home the other day. It said, “We have decided not to participate in this recession.” What a great message! The half-empty folks driving by no doubt scoff at such a sign and call it denial. I call it taking responsibility for your own success. The facts around them may not have changed, but at least for this one realty office in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, they aren’t making excuses. So what about you? Yes, it’s harder to win than to lose. But you have people (or animals or something) that need what your organization brings. Determine to make it.