Thursday, November 6, 2008
As we blogged earlier this week, as well as with respect to churches and charities generally last week, there have been numerous recent reports of charities bracing for reduced contributions even as demand for services increases. Many charities are also seeing reduced investment income because of shrinking endowments, as we reported this week and last week. Additional recent examples of these concerns include the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's announcement of "a sharp decline in assets" that will constrain its near future grantmaking and the Urban Institute's forum focusing on both the election and the economy and asking "What's Ahead for Civil Society?"
The Washington Post has published a Reuters report that indicates there is at least one (partial) bright spot, however. Sources at three of the largest corporate foundations - those for Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and General Electric - report that they plan to at least hold their 2009 giving steady even in the face of the current economic turmoil. And there is even better news - two other large corporate foundations, those for Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil, plan to increase their 2009 charitable giving. While these increases may not match the increased demand these same foundations are seeing, it is at least one somewhat brighter spot for charity finances in the next year.