The Triple Whammy to Philanthropy

2008 was a tough year for the philanthropic world. As the year developed, the economic situation continued to deteriorate in most countries. September came, and the banking crisis in the U.S. came to a head. Three months later, the uncovering of the alleged Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Here in Israel, we had the added pressures of the rising shekel and the worldwide declining dollar. Most nonprofit organizations were well into cost cutting long before summer.

All told, as we enter 2009, we have many challenges. But we also have many opportunities – and well positioned organizations should, in the long term, benefit.

We’re hoping the worst of the bad news is already out, but we may be a bit optimistic in that regard. We’ve posted a bit about the economic effects on philanthropy and offered some suggestions for organizations to consider. We will be doing more in this vein as 2009 goes forward.

As to the “Madoff affair”, as you can see from some recent posts (including today), we are still speaking about it. Not so much from a news perspective, but hopefully to provoke thought. The areas of board governance and due diligence, among others, are areas we have (pre-Madoff) stayed away from. However, we feel there are many lessons to be learned – our aim is to provoke discussion in your own community.

So, whether we post about the fallout from Madoff, or the importance of developing an online giving option for your organization, we hope we are being both informative and helpful while providing you additional food for thought that you can tailor to your own needs.

If we all focus on future potential – and are prudent with our investments – perhaps 2009 will provide some sunshine.