GREELEY — The last of what needed to be packed sat neatly in the stacked boxes and crates scattered around the two office spaces on Friday. There were only a couple things left — namely, one last picture with a single word framed in the middle: "HOPE."
After only a year, the outreach center for A Woman's Place is closing, a victim of the recession.
"Well, it's discouraging, don't you think?" said Ellen Szabo, executive director of A Woman's Place, which formerly rented the space. "We had high hopes."
The nonprofit organization isn't the only one feeling the sting of the recession. An increased demand for services coupled with dwindling donations and avenues for funding is beginning to take its toll on nonprofit organizations across Greeley and the country.
A survey of nonprofit organizations across the country by the Listening Post Project at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland found that 83 percent of nonprofit organizations that responded experienced some level of financial stress from September 2008 through March 2009. In 40 percent of those cases, that stress was "severe" or "very severe."
For many, the stress begins with declining revenues. Fifty-one percent of the organizations surveyed said their revenues declined from September 2008 through March 2009. The most widespread drop came in individual donations, with 53 percent responding organizations recording a drop; followed by 44 percent recording a loss in corporate donations and 42 percent a loss of funding from foundations.
A total of 363 organizations responded to the questionnaire, which was given to more than 1,400 organizations and provides a general sense of how nonprofits are faring in the recession.
Despite these difficulties, the survey found that nonprofit organizations are continuing to provide the growing number of residents in need with the services they require.
This trend is similar to what is being found in Greeley, where nonprofit officials say their organizations are feeling the strain of limited funding from nearly all fundraising streams while striving to maintain their current service levels.
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