Financial challenges have many Brooklyn-based nonprofit organizations struggling to bridge the gap between demand for services and financial resources
Brooklyn Community Foundation released the findings of a survey of 57 Brooklyn-based nonprofits that shows many organizations are facing a financial crisis: In the face of growing demand for service, nonprofits are also experiencing increased costs and decreased donations. The responding nonprofits also reported a worsening outlook for 2023 if the pool of donors and the amount of donations do not increase.
"For many organizations, the gap between their financial resources and the needs of the communities they serve is widening," said Dr. Jocelynne Rainey, President & CEO, Brooklyn Community Foundation. "It is critically important that the level of donations increase in order for these organizations to continue to meet the needs of the communities they serve."
To help support Brooklyn nonprofits, Brooklyn Community Foundation is once again running their #BrooklynGives campaign to raise money for the borough’s organizations. Each of the 20 Spark Prize finalists will receive a $5,000 match from the Foundation during #BrooklynGives, and there will be sponsored $500 prizes for organizations throughout Giving Tuesday. Donations can be made at www.brooklyngives.org.
According to the survey, 91.2 percent of the 57 respondents say their organizations have experienced an increased demand for services over the past 12 months. Most nonprofits (35.1 percent) report a 21—30 percent increase in demand while 15.8 percent are experiencing an increase of over 50 percent.
This increase in demand has come at a time when many nonprofits in Brooklyn are still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic 35.1 percent of the respondents experienced a decrease in individual donations and over the past 12 months that downward trend has continued with 52.6 percent of organizations seeing a decrease in individual donors.
This comes at a time of rising costs, with almost all (98.2 percent) or respondents saying that have experienced increased costs, with half of respondents experiencing a 31+ increase in costs.
Almost half, 49.1 percent, of the survey's respondents are concerned about their 2023 financial outlook. Many have already implemented cost cutting measures in 2022 — 36.8 percent have reduced program offerings, while 38.6 percent have cut back on supplies used for programs or services. Most significant is the effect it is having on operations as 66.7 percent are asking their staffs to work longer hours.
One survey respondent, Muslims Giving Back, an organization that runs several food pantry programs, has been hit hard by inflation and is struggling to maintain food stocks. "We rely heavily on recurrent donors to service the needs of the community and our donors have also been severely affected and are unable to continue to support our need," they said.
Another survey respondent, Tauris Tech, which brings educational and employment opportunities to families and individuals, fears that their finances will reach a crisis point in 2023. “We are struggling to pay trainers and to buy materials and to keep our learning platform going without having enough funding to operate," they said.
About Brooklyn Community Foundation
Brooklyn Community Foundation is on a mission to spark lasting social change, mobilizing people, capital, and expertise for a fair and just Brooklyn. It is the first and only public foundation solely dedicated to Brooklyn, working in partnership with generous donors and community leaders to advance racial justice and bolster vital nonprofits. Since its founding in 2009, the Foundation and its donors have provided over $75 million in grants to nonprofits in Brooklyn and beyond. Learn more at www.BrooklynCommunityFoundation.org.