The unfortunate new normal for nonprofits

The new normal — nonprofit¬†organizations are going to have to do more with less. Sad, because the needs are great, and the funding is challenging for a lot of not-for-profits.

Although total charitable giving is rising from the pits of the 2008 recession, it’s doing so at an agonizingly slow pace and has yet to reach pre-recession levels.

In fact, last year, corporate donations dropped by 3.1 percent, adjusted for inflation, which cut into the slight gains in personal giving. Many charities, as a result, have cut staff or put added pressure on remaining employees to raise funds. Some workers, and even donors, are feeling burned out. Many nonprofits also are increasingly relying on volunteers to fill the gap in resources.

In 2010 and 2011, U.S. charitable giving grew only by an inflation-adjusted average of 1.8 percent nationwide — making it the second-worst recovery following a recession in 40 years, according to a report by the Giving USA Foundation and Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy.

If giving continued to increase at that rate, it would take 10 years to reach the amount donated in 2007.