A downturn won’t stop charities

Marketplace Staff Dec 3, 2008
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A downturn won’t stop charities

Marketplace Staff Dec 3, 2008
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Scott Jagow: This time of year, the mailbox can get kind of full with direct appeals from charities. As you might imagine, nonprofits are especially keen for the money this year. Joel Rose reports.


Joel Rose: One bad year in the stock market is generally not enough to stop charitable foundations from giving away money. That’s according to Nancy Burd, a nonprofit consultant based in Philadelphia.

Nancy Burd: Foundations have obviously noticed a huge hit to their investments. But because most foundations base grant-making on three years of a rolling average, they’re still distributing at a fairly high level, even though their investments went down.

But if the downturn continues into 2009 or beyond, Burd says foundation and corporate giving is likely to suffer.

Debra Kahn is the director of Delaware Valley Grantmakers, a membership organization of 150 philanthropies in the mid-Atlantic region. Kahn says individual donors may hold the key.

Debra Kahn: We’ve seen it time and time again. When times are bad, people who can really do dig a little bit deeper.

Which could mean even more of those direct appeals in your mailbox.

In Philadelphia, I’m Joel Rose for Marketplace.

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