How to operate in the post-recession era

February 24, 2014

How to operate in the post-recession era

As the U.S. continues to move out of the recession, fundraising is picking up. Surviving without disappearing state and federal funds now seems as if it may be possible. The Daily Times recently highlighted a story about a Virginia nonprofit that was able to beat the odds and remain open, even as the recession nearly wiped it out before 2012.

The Eastern Shore Coalition Against Domestic Violence found out in the summer of 2012 that a $20,000 state grant that had received since 1996 would no longer be available. The grant made up a significant portion of the organization's budget and there was fear that the group would have to close its doors.

However, following a new, strategic approach to fundraising, the organization was able to raise $90,000, paid off its mortgages and is now on firm financial footing. Nonprofits across the country experienced both a decrease in funding from private donors and federal and state grants. This has changed the way that nonprofits must build their budgets and collect revenue, and it will likely continue even as the recession improves.

New models of operation are here to stay
It's hard to predict how much governmental funding will return to a nonprofit or when it will disappear again. The recession forced nonprofits to not only operate with a smaller budget, but many found themselves with an increased demand as well. While signs that fundraising is improving is good news for budgets, meeting demand must be handled carefully.

Many workers at organizations that were on the verge of closing gave nearly all they had to keep the doors open. Kristin Davis, vice president of communications and marketing for the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, told The Daily Times that employees who made it through the turbulent years that began in 2008 are feeling exhausted. While doing more with less will be key moving forward, organizations must ensure that their employees do not burn out.

It would be wise to ensure that as new funds begin rolling in, some are used to improve the administrative and staffing side of the organization. Organizations should meet with their employees and determine how their jobs differ from before the recession. Perhaps they took on significant responsibilities in order tighten the budget, but now feel overwhelmed. As nonprofits pull out of the storm, it's time to reassess how they will operate moving forward. 

Content presented by First Nonprofit Companies, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.


Ready to chat?
Get in touch today to request a no-obligation savings evaluation.


First Nonprofit has saved us so much money over the state’s program. We had one little glitch with the state recently and we contacted FNP immediately. FNP staff called us back immediately and moved to remedy the problem.

WI Council of Religious & Independent Schools (WCRIS), Madison, WI

First Nonprofit has been a great partner. They have helped us saved hundreds of thousands of dollars! They have awesome resources for our nonprofit organization. Thanks for the partnership.

Community Care Inc., Milwaukee, WI

Life is certainly busy these days but having business partners like First Nonprofit has made some of the process hassle free. We have worked with this team for years. When we changed payroll systems, they outlined every step. I think this team is terrific and I know they get the job done! Thank you, Cruz, to all the team at FNP.

Gulfside Healthcare Services, New Port Richey, FL

FNP has helped our agency to save thousands of dollars every year on our unemployment coverage. The service is phenomenal, and we are thankful to their team as our partner. My experience working with Marshall on the advocacy around UE for nonprofits was also a highlight as someone who teaches advocacy and lobbying for nonprofits. Really, your whole team is top shelf, so thank YOU!

Advancing Academics, Turtle Creek, PA

Chicago Children’s Theatre has greatly benefited from our partnership with First Nonprofit, and I have always enjoyed working with the staff on our filings and any complicated questions. I would not hesitate to recommend First Nonprofit to fellow nonprofits. We’re very happy customers.

Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago, IL

FNP is a great resource for Daniel Kids. To have a TPA that we can count on to take point on not only managing our unemployment claims, but to support and guide any protest hearing, is invaluable. All the professional support staff we have worked with have been excellent, very knowledgeable and responsive. We are grateful for the help and support, thank you.

Daniel Kids, Jacksonville, FL

When I first began in my position at my organization, I hadn’t had experience working with a company like FNP. The staff was so patient and helpful in helping to explain the benefits of First Nonprofit. Anytime I reach out with a question I receive a quick, clear, and thorough response. I’m so thankful that we decided to partner with FNP. Their excellence in customer service, coupled with their variety of packages frees us up to truly serve our staff and community with a peace of mind knowing that our organization is protected against unanticipated unemployment insurance expenses.

Homes of Hope, Chicago, IL

First Nonprofit gets an A+ in my book. You are so easy to work with & very knowledgeable! Whether it is my quarterly correspondence with Kim or my random interactions with Dawn about a bond … I am so pleased that I get to work with such a helpful company. Thank you!

Women's Choice Network, Pittsburgh, PA