Part III- Should You Start a Nonprofit In Today’s Economy?

It’s the new Obama Administration position that America needs its nonprofit organizations like never before.

This blog will take a closer look at nonprofit policy priorities for Obama Administration. A just completed poll found that the vast majority of nonprofit executives report very little improvement in the past administration policy toward nonprofit organization are pinning high hope on the Obama’s Administration to establish a more supportive policy toward the nonprofit sector.

The new survey of over 1,000 U.S. nonprofit organization conducted by John Hopkins Nonprofit Listening Post Project listed four specific measures the new administration should set policy priorities. Focusing on nonprofit organization in four key fields; children and family services, elderly housing and services, community and economical development, and arts and culture, the survey asked the nonprofit leaders, “what can a national administration do to equip nonprofits to help Americans cope with the present economical crises.”

There are many suggestions from the experts on what nonprofits want from the new administration. High on the list were as follow:

  • Reinstatement and expansion of tax incentives for individual charitable giving.
  • Restoration and for growth of funds for nonprofit funds in the federal budget.
  • Federal grant support for nonprofit training and capacity building.
  • Expansion of tax incentive to encourage volunteering.
  • Student loan forgiveness for those working in the nonprofit sector.
  • Establishment of special health insurance tax credit for workers in the nonprofit sector.

There were many other suggestions but, I chose to stop with the above sample.

Now more than ever, during this time of unparalleled economical challenges, it’s critical that the nation work together. The government alone cannot fix all the problems. President Obama stated, “Nonprofit should and supposed to be intermediary or connecting organization linking the federal and states programs with those that need help.” The president further stated “We need your services right now, at this moment in history, I’m not going to tell you what your role should be; that for you to discover. But I am asking you to stand up and play your part. I am asking you to help change history’s course.”

On April 21, 2009, President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Service American Act, a heroic expansion of opportunities for all Americans to serve their communities and our country. The act will triple the size of Americorps from ( 75,00 to 250,00) members and focus that service on today’s challenges, including clean energy, education, health care, veterans care and economical opportunity. The bill will make funds available to develop and grow successful ideals in the nonprofit sector and strengthen the capacity for the nonprofit sector to use volunteers more effectively.

The act allocates $5.7 billion over five years to encourage volunteerism among Americans of all ages. Americorps volunteers receive living allowance of about $12,00.00 for ten to twelve months of service. The act also provides $500.00 summer scholarships to middle and high school students and $ 1,000.00 educational stipends to older volunteers.

On signing the bill President Obama said “What this legislation does is to help harness this patriotism and connect deeds to needs. It creates opportunities to serve for students, seniors, and everyone in between. It supports innovation and strengthens the nonprofit sector. And it is just the begging of a sustained collaborative and focused effort to involve our greatest resource-our-citizens- in the work of remaking this nation.”

Nonprofit organization should not only be concerned with fighting for more money, but also with advocating for appropriations that will do something to help the country’s failing economy.

My next post (around July 5th) we will look at nonprofits organizations maintaining and surviving in these tough times.

Please take a look at my newsletter for other tips, resources and valuable information.


Have you ever volunteered? If yes, in what capacity? If not, why not? If you chose to volunteer, do you have a unique skill or experience you can share? Maybe it could be simply a greatly appreciated helping hand. Maybe, you can tutor a young child, help a senior citizen or simply give someone a ride. Do you have a desire to help those in need of help?

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a deep pulsating desire which transcends everything.” -Napoleon Hill

If you know of any nonprofit organizations doing great work , please sent me an email. The organizations may get mention in a later post or may even get listed as a resource on my web site. Please take a look at my newsletter for other tips, resources and valuable information.

If you know of resources that you think would be helpful to other, please forward their contact information so that we can share it. Keep checking back here for more information, ideals and comments as we moved forward in these tough times.

See you soon!


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