Like all nonprofits, and perhaps most people, we watched the 2008 and 2009 economies fade into the past with great happiness. While the best that can be said for 2010 is that it was “less bad” than 2008 and 2009, an improvement, however slight, is still good news. For many people, panic may be subsiding, but the fear of further financial trouble lingers—and that fear translates into a reluctance to give, which impacts a great number of nonprofit organizations.
In a June 2010 poll of the nonprofit sector, Guidestar revealed some telling statistics. Despite the slightly improved economy, 40 percent of respondents reported that contributions to their organizations had dropped between January 1 and May 31, 2010 compared to the same period a year earlier. Eight percent of respondents indicated that their organizations were in imminent danger of failing. Seventeen percent indicated that they had cut programs, and 11 percent had cut staff in order to help balance their 2010 budgets.
Needless to say, organizations relying on government funding—particularly state and municipal funding—are in danger of losing some or all of that funding. For many organizations, government funding makes up a great deal of their financial base, and such cuts could prove fatal.
Many organizations reported not only a drop in the number of individual donors, but also a drop in the size of each donation. Similarly, many organizations reported reductions in the size of corporate and foundation gifts. Together, these changes can significantly impact an organization’s fundraising ability. At the same time, as is typical in a tough economy, the demand for services from the nonprofit sector increased just as these cuts occurred.
In prior letters, I have noted the ISC’s good fortune to be run under the wonderful leadership of Executive Director Johannah Hutchison, and under the guidance of a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors. Under Johannah’s leadership, the ISC has managed to maintain or expand all of its program and staffing areas, even during these troubling times.
The ISC is also fortunate to have a broad funding base consisting of magazine advertisers, subscribers, organization members, and donors, including individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments. This year, in honor of our 50th anniversary, we received a number of sculpture donations from ISC members and sculptors who support our mission.
Despite this good news, we still need to fundraise, an uncomfortable task even in the best of times, and still more difficult in this climate of hardship. I ask all of you—ISC members and Sculpture readers—to consider opening your hearts and your pocketbooks in support of the ISC as 2010 comes to a close. You can always donate through our Web site at <www.sculpture.org>, and please watch for our 2010 annual appeal in the mail. We rely on and are grateful for your support. Every donation, of any size, helps us to support sculpture.
With wishes of good fortune for us all in 2011, thank you.
Chairman, ISC Board of Directors
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