News Published: Apr 26, 2012 - 10:05 AM

Survey finds a third of CT nonprofits ended 2011 in the red

By Connecticut Association of Nonprofits (CT Nonprofits)

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Hartford, CT - The Nonprofit Finance Fund’s 2012 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey reveals Connecticut nonprofits continue to face increased demand for services and decreased funding, with 29% of the 158 respondents closing the 2011 fiscal year with an operating deficit. Connecticut Association of Nonprofits (CT Nonprofits), the largest membership organization in the state dedicated exclusively to working with nonprofits in Connecticut, is witnessing these struggles firsthand.

According to the 2012 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey, in Connecticut alone:

84% of nonprofits anticipate an increased demand for services in 2012, yet only 45% of nonprofits expect to be able to fully meet the demand
Nearly one-third (29%) of nonprofits surveyed ended the 2011 fiscal year with an operating deficit
47% of Connecticut nonprofits that receive federal funding report receiving late payments from the government
70% of the nonprofits in Connecticut that receive funding from State or local government report receiving late payments

Late payments are not a new problem for Connecticut’s nonprofit community. In 2009, CT Nonprofits surveyed approximately 500 members to assess how nonprofits were faring amidst the financial crisis. The survey found that 88% of respondents received government funding and 42% of state-funded providers reported receiving late contract payments from the State.

As partners with the State, nonprofits provide efficient, cost-effective health and human services on the state’s behalf that help ensure Connecticut residents can live healthy, safe lives. Without timely payments and increased funding, it is challenging for the State’s nonprofits to provide these services to all who need them.

In an attempt to reduce expenses without cutting key services, 16% of the nonprofits surveyed reported collaborating with another organization to reduce administrative expenses.

“Collaboration is a powerful cost-saving tool for nonprofits,” said Ron Cretaro, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Nonprofits. “By sharing office space, administrative staff, programs and other resources, nonprofits can reduce their operating expenses without having to turn away the increased number of residents who need their services”

Locally, two of CT Nonprofits’ members, YWCA Hartford Region and Chrysalis Center Inc., have developed a partnership to ensure client service remains a top priority.

Approximately 10 years ago, as the YWCA faced mounting losses and a deteriorating building in its housing facility, they began to explore options which would benefit the community and improve the financial picture for YWCA. From this, Soromundi Commons, an emergency shelter for homeless women as well as transitional and permanent housing, was conceived.

From the onset, the two organizations worked together to design the project, secure the necessary funding for renovation and ongoing operations, and develop the working relationships between the two organizations and among other community partners. Today, the project, which will celebrate its 7th anniversary this July, serves about 150 people annually, with Chrysalis Center providing the support services, Konover Residential providing the property management and YWCA providing oversight and managing the funding streams.

“While collaborations among nonprofits can provide value to both the organizations and their clients, the importance of maintaining nonprofit funding and issuing annual Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAS) cannot be understated,” said Liza Andrews, Public Policy Director & Nonprofit Cabinet Project Director, Connecticut Association of Nonprofits. “We are grateful to the Governor for the 1% COLA provided in the FY-2013 budget and hope that he will extend increased support to the nonprofit community in the FY-2014 budget.”

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