“Nonprofit finances on the mend; Groups, feeling more confident about future, add new programs and expand their services, study says. Still, some organizations continue to struggle as they get used to ‘new normal’.” By Theresa Agovino. Crain’s New York Business. March 29, 2013. Executives at nonprofit groups in New York City are feeling more confident about the future, with an increasing number saying they plan to add new programs and serve more people this year than they did in 2012, according to a new study. This year, 61% of nonprofits surveyed planned to boost services, while 57% expected to add clients, according to the study by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, which makes loans to charitable organizations. Last year, only 53% of the groups said they had expanded programs while 44% served more people. The executives’ optimism likely stems from their organizations’ improved financial picture. According to the study, 31% of nonprofits surveyed ended their 2012 fiscal year with a deficit while 22% broke even; yet 23% predict they will end their 2013 fiscal year in the red, while 38% believe they will break even. Despite the brightening picture, executives say many organizations are still struggling in the aftermath of the recession, which increased need and decreased funding. “I think they are getting used to the new normal and accepting that the money they used to get isn’t coming back,” said Anjali Deshmukh, director of knowledge and information for the Nonprofit Finance Fund. The organization surveyed 224 New York City charities in various sectors including health, the arts and human services.
“Tennessee Republicans freak out that voucher plan might fund Muslim schools.” By Laura Clawson. Daily Kos. April 03, 2013. Tennessee Republicans’ anti-Muslim hysteria may actually do a good thing, if for the absolute wrong reason (anti-Muslim hysteria). The state legislature is considering a school voucher bill, but there’s a hitch: At least one Muslim school might qualify for voucher money, and some legislators are freaking out over it. That the same people whose first thought on seeing a mop sink was “OMG MUSLIM FOOT-WASHING” would have objections to public money going to Muslim schools is, shall we say, not a surprise. And it’s gross. But in this case, it may get in the way of another top Republican priority: sending public money to Christian schools in the form of vouchers. The voucher plan currently under consideration was proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam and would give vouchers to kids eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches in the bottom five percent of public schools. Some Republican legislators want to broaden the bill substantially, extending it to every school in the state and raising the income cap. But where Haslam’s plan would only make one Muslim school eligible for vouchers, several others would be eligible under the expanded plan. And one is already one too many for the mop-sink brigade.