Philanthropy in Challenging Times

Resources for Grantmakers and Grantseekers



Challenges Ahead: Upstate NY Philanthropy and the Economy: (December 2008)

Grantmakers Forum of New York surveys NYS funders on future giving.


Note: This list of resources and articles is compiled from many different authors and articles, for advisory purposes only, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Grantmakers Forum.




American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009. This site,, posted by The White House, gives information on the Act, links to the full text of the Act, and also allows Americans to comment on, monitor and track progress of the recovery/reinvestment funding.


New York State Recovery site, including



A to Z Grantmakers' Guide for Uncertain Times . Michael Seltzer, PhilanTopic blog (November 2008)



Managing in Tough Times: 7 Steps

Bridgespan Group's report on challenges in the economy


Changing Times Call For Foundations To Try New, Innovative Approaches To Sustain Nonprofits. Mike Gallagher for Council of Michigan Foundations' CMF NewsWire. 10/2/2008


Focus on the Economic Crisis , The Foundation Center has compiled a list of resources including a new interactive map highlighting the most recent data available on U.S. foundation support in response to the economic crisis.


Foundation Center research gives historical context on giving in prior periods of economic stress and offers a perspective on current outlook for foundation giving. View these two articles.


Past Economic Downturns and the Outlook for Foundation Giving

Do Foundation Giving Priorities Change in Times of Economic Distress?



Economic Xchange, a dynamic, web-based platform  posted by Council on Foundations that encourages philanthropic organizations to share information, ideas, strategies, and tactics about coping with the uncertainties of the current economic downturn. Through Economic Xchange, the Council encourages an ongoing dialogue that aims to help organizations address the needs of their communities while balancing the requirements of their individual institutions.



Strategies for Foundations to Save Resources
Financial Times article addresses ways to cope with dwindling resources and continue to support the causes and institutions you care about. (, October 14, 2008)



The Council on Foundation's  Open Letter to its members, about grantmaking in an economic downturn.

The Nonprofit Quarterly , a national journal for the nonprofit sector, responded with the letter they wish the Council had sent.



Community Foundations

CF Insights report: Making Informed Decisions in Uncertain Times , November 2008. CF Insights is a project of FSG Social Impact Advisors


 Emergency Hardship Scholarships/Grants to Individuals.

Notes on giving to individuals with caveats. Council of Michigan Foundations


Corporate Philanthropy

"Amid Turmoil, Corporations to Maintain Giving in 2009" ( Financial Week , November 2008)



"Consumers Expect Companies to Keep Giving in Hard Times" ( The Chronicle of Philanthropy , October 2008)



"Is This The Time For Companies To Be Philanthropic?" (Strategic Philanthropy)


"The Giving Blues" (




Resources for all nonprofit organizations


A to Z Survival Guide for Uncertain Times
Compilation of strategy recommendations to help organizations weather the changing economy. (PhilanTopic Blog, October 15, 2008)


Nonprofit Economic Vitality Center 
The National Council of Nonprofits hosts a free online clearinghouse of resources to help nonprofits cope with the many challenges created by the faltering economy.


Special Report: How Charities Cope with a Troubled Economy
The Chronicle of Philanthropy has compiled resources on how nonprofits deal with turbulent times. Resources include recent stories, reports, podcasts, and statistics.


New York Times Special Section on Charitable Giving (November 11, 2008)



Survey: Donors Plan to Give this Holiday Season
A national survey shows that nearly seven of 10 adults plan to give as much or more this Holiday season as they did in 2007. ( The Nonprofit Times , October 27, 2008)



Wealth Expert Upbeat on Giving in Downturn . ( Stanford Social Innovation Review , October 20, 2008)


Foundations Support Families Hit by Economic Downturn (COF survey report, May 2008)



Grant Making During Difficult Economic Times ( The Chronicle of Philanthropy , April 2008)
GFNY member Jennifer Leonard, Rochester Area Community Foundation, talks with others about the crisis.



Giving in Times of Recession & Crisis (Philanthropy Matters, p. 8, Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, 2002)




The Economic Crisis: Background


A Short Banking History of the United States - Wall Street Journal



History of Previous Financial Crises Wall Street Journal



PhilanTopic: The Stock Market and Charitable Giving (October 20, 2008) 



Washington Must Heed Fiscal Alarm Bell From Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Op-Ed by Dave Walker, CEO, and former U.S. Comptroller General, on what caused the financial crisis


Note: This list is compiled from many different authors and articles, for advisory purposes only.


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