Doing More with Less
Contact: Glenda Berg Sharp, CAE,
Over the past 10 years, most asso-
ciations have faced budgetary cutbacks
and downsizing because of recessions.
Indeed, many of our members also have
faced cutbacks and downsizing in their
own industries. Our individual members
have made difficult economic decisions
on retaining professional and social
memberships based on value. Since our
associations require members and their
dues for survival, we rise to the challenge
by increasing member services without
increasing dues — and even decreasing
Contact: Julie Tucek, Marketing
Director, Legacy Professionals
It is an understatement to say all orga-
nizations are operating in a challenging
economic climate. Nonprofits are no
exception. GuideStar.org recently con-
ducted a survey of approximately 1,845
charitable organizations to gauge how
they performed in 2010 versus 2009. The
results shed light on the overall industry
financial performance and showed some
improvement from 2009 to 2010.
How can association employees provide increased services with less staff?
With budget reductions? With less volunteer time from leaders because of their
own challenges? One solution is to out-source some of your projects and services
to a consultant.
How do we get started? The answer is
as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Use your own professional networks such as Association Forum
and LinkedIn to ask for recommendations. You should easily
receive five to 10 responses within 24
hours. You will probably also receive
a response or two from others who
have the same question.
2. Next, prepare a well thought-out
Request for Proposal to send
to those recommended. Your
RFP should be as specific as pos-
sible concerning your timeline and
expected results. Consider including
a checklist to help you review the
In 2010, 33 percent of respondents
reported a decline in contributions.
There is some sense of optimism since
this is an improvement from 46 percent
reported in 2009. Conversely, two-thirds
of respondents said contributions either
increased or stayed the same as in 2009.
Nonetheless, since a decline in con-
tributions reduces the funds available
to finance services, the simultaneous
increase in demand for services contin-
ues to intensify the pressure upon an
organization to more effectively leverage
its assets to meet demand. Fifty-eight
percent of respondents reported an
increase in online giving from 2009 to
2010. Seventy-five percent of the organi-
zations receive online contributions.
weak economy as they were more likely
to report a decrease in charitable contributions than an increase. Conversely,
international organizations were the most
likely to see an uptick in contribution
income, due in large part to donations
made for disaster relief.
For complete results of the surveys
mentioned above, visit www.guidestar.
The following surveys are referenced:
“The 2010 Fundraising Survey Results:
The Worst May Be Over,” published by
Guidestar USA, Inc.
“The 2010 Nonprofit Fundraising Survey:
Funds Raised in 2010 Compared with
2009,” published by Guidestar USA Inc.
Compiled by Benjamin Arthur, Staff Accountant, Chicago office, Legacy Professionals LLP,