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Not a great time for nonprofits

Charitable giving

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Nonprofits account for about 10 percent of the U.S. economy. And of course, when the economy goes south, so do contributions to nonprofits. Since this could be a pretty rough downturn, we thought we'd check in and see how some nonprofits are doing so far. Here's Rachel Dornhelm.


Rachel Dornhelm: Spirit in the House is a Minneapolis arts festival that's going into its fifth year. Keeping Money in the House has become the big challenge for executive director Dean Seal. He said fundraising was moving ahead pretty well until a month and a half ago. Since then it dropped off, and he decided to cancel a benefit he planned for later this month.

Dean Seal: You know I might get people at the $20 level, but I won't get anybody at the $500 level. So we're just putting it off.

Chronicle of Philanthropy editor Stacy Palmer says small organizations like Seal's are the first to feel the pinch. Other groups that have already taken a beating include the many charities funded by financial institutions.

Stacy Palmer: Groups that are in New York that are dependent on banking money, those are the groups that are feeling a big hit right away.

Palmer says arts organizations suffer most during tough times. Donors tend to favor social organizations -- groups they feel are helping the most in need.

I'm Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.

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