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Charities Struggle With Smaller Wall Street Donations
Source: The New York Times  ·  August 30, 2011  ·  Excerpt

Operation Hope built a nonprofit powerhouse over the last decade, spinning a stockpile of donations from Wall Street firms into 27 financial education centers across the country.

But the charitable organization’s donor base has retrenched in the wake of the financial crisis. Citigroup’s foundation last year cut its giving 60 percent, to $115,000. The ING Foundation delayed paying its $300,000 commitment to Operation Hope. And the CIT Group, a lender that was once one of the organization’s biggest benefactors, stopped giving altogether.

“Companies don’t realize I’ve got payroll and lease payments just like they do,” said John Hope Bryant, who started Operation Hope after spending six years as a banker in Los Angeles.

While Wall Street has slowly returned from the depths of the financial crisis, nonprofit groups that have come to depend on the industry’s donations are still struggling. With the global market turmoil and the threat of a double-dip recession, many big banks are clutching their cash or rethinking their giving strategy to maximize their dollars.

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Our take
The financial crisis on Wall Street and ongoing economic downturn at the national level rapidly reached the bottom line of many small organizations, hitting financially-based nonprofits especially hard. At Compass Pointe, it's part of our job to understand the giving habits and capabilities of various industries and help prepare you for shifts in the marketplace. Our goal is not to promise that you will avoid these variations 100% of the time - but to help equip you with the tools needed to effectively adapt when they occur.

Contact us now for help answering these and other questions:

  • What is the outlook for corporate giving in the financial sector, and how does my organization need to plan accordingly?
  • What trends are becoming evident in other industries, and how can I identify ways to either capitalize or strategize for the future?


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