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Recession Forcing Cutbacks at MN Nonprofits

December 17, 2008

St. Paul, MN – The recession is taking a toll on many of the groups that provide a safety net for those being hurt the most by it. Jon Pratt with the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits says its almost 2,000 members are trying to do more with less.

"Over half are reporting reduced revenues already for 2008, and a fourth have already had layoffs."

He says major funding sources such as grants, donations and public contracts are drying up, at a time of increased need for the services nonprofits provide, driven by growing unemployment, higher living costs and government cutbacks.

Pratt points out that the financial pinch has affected the way nonprofits are able to perform their services and meet growing needs.

"There's a greater impact on organizations that provide employment and job counseling, legal and civil rights advocacy, and also human services and youth development."

In the best of all worlds, he adds, nonprofits would increase delivery of services as need increased, but, in reality, they're subject to the same economic pressures as everyone else. Pratt says many organizations are facing some difficult choices, including staff reductions, mergers and even shutting down.

The council surveyed 660 state nonprofits earlier this month. More on the findings, including the 2008 Minnesota Nonprofit Economy Report and Nonprofit Current Conditions reports, are online at

Jim Wishner, Public News Service - MN