Non-profits brainstorm financial survival skills

    Merging may be way to weather the recession

    Social service groups are struggling in the recession. About 60 of them gathered at the Philadelphia’s Free Library’s main branch to hear strategies for survival.

    Funding is a routine obstacle for non-profits. But recent cuts to federal and state aid have made budget shortfalls even harder to tackle.

    Lorene Carey is the president of the Union Benevolent Association, an organization that awards small grants to non-profits that work with the poor. She says dwindling dollars from the private sector has further strained the situation.

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    “They are still giving generously, but many of them have less to give. Similarly, the endowments of large foundations, like our endowment, have shrunk. We don’t have as much money to give.”

    Carey says the tough economic climate has forced many non-profits to fold or merge with other organizations.

    Collaboration and sharing resources, she says, is the best way for remaining non-profits to stay afloat.

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