Wall St. Disarray Leaves Mess for Nonprofits

Charitable giving suffers as firms fold, merge, cut back
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2008 3:39 PM CDT
Dr. Michael Bitz, right, co-founder of Youth Music Exchange, a nonprofit in New York.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The victims of the Wall Street tsunami aren't all investment bankers and McMansion brokers. Kids with diabetes, residents of low-income housing, and fans of classical music are among those who could take a hit as nonprofits that depend on philanthropy from financial services firms absorb the fallout, the Boston Globe reports. Says the executive director of a school funded in part by Lehman Brothers: "I don't know what will happen."

Even before the meltdown, many companies' giving had plateaued. As the dust settles, nonprofits are scrambling to find new sources of funding. The continued rush of acquisitions makes the problem even thornier. And pity the organization whose benefactors included Merrill Lynch, Fannie Mae, and AIG. More than anything, uncertainty reigns. “You have to be prepared for alternative scenarios,” says one nonprofit exec.