Minnesota Nonprofits Adapting to New Economic Environment

Minnesota Nonprofits Adapting to New Economic Environment

Although there are fewer nonprofits in Minnesota today than there were seven years ago, the number of nonprofit employees and service locations has increased, the Associated Press reports.

When hospitals, colleges, and universities are excluded, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits reports that the number of nonprofit jobs in Minnesota grew 2 percent a year from 2007 to 2012. Over the same period, the state's for-profit sector lost jobs.

In the wake of the Great Recession and the global economic downturn, many nonprofits needed to change the way they did business to keep afloat. Ann Mulholland, vice president of grants and programs at Minnesota Philanthropy Partners and the St. Paul Foundation, told the AP that nonprofits are "absorbing other organizations — or parts of work from other organizations — and then those other organizations narrow."

One such nonprofit, Project for Pride in Living Enterprises, which helps convicted felons and residents of halfway houses re-enter the workforce, merged with Rebuild Resources and is rebranding itself as Momentum. While some staff members were let go and a logo and custom apparel shop was closed, three worksites in the Twin Cities area have kept the organization on firm financial ground, said Janet Ludden, the organization's president.

"Yes, nonprofits have to think differently," Ludden told the AP. "One of the challenges is understanding that duplication is not going to be successful, and [to] find their own area of expertise, and not be all things to all people."