A Third of Central, Northeastern Connecticut Nonprofits Worried They May Have to Close, Survey Finds

An annual survey conducted by the finds that a third of the nonprofit organizations in the region are concerned they may have to shutter their operations in the coming year, the reports.

Based on a poll of a hundred nonprofits, the sixth annual found that almost a third of the region's nonprofits have no reserve funds (25 percent) or have depleted them (6.4 percent); that the percentage that have begun to tap their financial reserves doubled from 15.1 percent in 2008 to 31.9 percent in 2009; and that the number considering a merger with another organization rose from 20 percent in 2008 to 25 percent in 2009.

The survey also suggests that while nonprofit leaders in the region are generally less pessimistic than they were at this time last year, they expect the challenge of meeting increased demand for services with fewer resources to persist for some time. Indeed, while 55 percent of respondents expect total revenue to decrease in 2009, up from 28.6 percent in 2008, 70.9 percent said they anticipate growing demand for services — down from 91.5 percent in last year's survey but still well above past levels. In addition, only one out of five nonprofits expects the federal stimulus package to benefit the they constituents serve, while two out of three do not expect to receive any stimulus funds.

On a brighter note, the percentage of nonprofits in the region reporting an increase in volunteer and in-kind support rose slightly, from 36.2 percent to 42.6 percent. "Despite [the economy] being so bad, they know that other people are hurting as they are," said executive director Ronald Cretaro.

"." United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut Press Release 10/19/2009. "." Hartford Business Journal 10/19/2009. "." United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut Report 10/01/2009.