Hey! No hunkering allowed!
March 25th, 2009
In my last blog entry I referenced the ideas of two outstanding thought leaders - Lucy Bernholz and Marty Linsky - re: how we may think and act in this recession. I agree with them both - don't hunker down, get up and let's push forward! I was part of a panel last week for the March day session of Leadership Grand Rapids (LGR) alongside Lynne Ferrell from the Frey Foundation and John Wheeler, philanthropist as well as the founder and owner of the Rockford Construction companies. Amazing how the three of us all agreed about moving on even with the effects of the economic downturn. I spoke about how we need to keep giving and trying to make sure that the nonprofit sector can respond as best as possible to the growing needs and yet we need to make sure that we are not neglecting the long term growth needs for the greater Grand Rapids community. AND that we should not, as a community, pit the arts versus human services! Roberta King, VP for PR/Marketing, and I were interviewed by Chris Knape of The Grand Rapids Press today re: impact of the economy on area foundations and our ability to respond and fund programs. I told him the same thing I told the LGR group. We anticipate granting the same amount of funding this year as we did last year. Our fiscal year is July 1 to June 30 and right now we are on track with being able to respond the same as last year. Hey - it is still a good deal of money poured back into our community! If the recession continues on beyond another 1 to 2 years, then we may see a decrease in grants. We have a spending rule that takes into account the vagaries of the market and evens out the spending rate and ultimately we will have these down quarters when figuring our average market value based on 16 rolling quarters. Here's the message - we are not hunkering down we are moving forward. We are watching spending and making wise business decisions about expenses and the like. We will be interested in looking at different ways nonprofit organizations can organize themselves to stay afloat and eventually rebound and thrive. This is the time to step forward with a positive community attitude!! P.S. - sorry I haven't blogged in awhile - too busy looking at our financials! ;-) Keep movin' on!