WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The State of Philanthropy since the Recession

Dec 29, 2018
Originally published on January 2, 2019 1:36 pm

During and after the recession, most charities were forced to operate with less money.

Now, ten years later, Michelle O'Neill reports contributions have been rising, but nonprofits and foundations in the Quad Cities face other challenges.

Nancy Renkes is Vice President and Chief Partnerships Officer of the River Bend Food Bank. She says the recession did affect most non-profits. The economic turn-around took several years. And during that time, Renkes says giving to the food bank and other charities was stagnant.

Joy Boruff, President and CEO of the Moline Foundation, says her organization's endowment was a critical part of weathering the storm. Years ago, donors consistently gave to one or two charities and trusted them to spend the money where it would do the most good. But that's no longer the case. People want to donate to causes they are passionate about. Technology has also caused major changes in giving. Boruff says that's because it's so much easier to research nonprofits.

Sherry Ristau, President and CEO of the Quad Cities Community Foundation, says long-term efforts, such as "Success by Six" and "Born Learning," definitely pay off. And while money can't solve everything, Ristau says it serves as a catalyst that creates opportunities to care for our communities.

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