SEATTLE - Nonprofit groups can have a tough time raising money in any economy, but a new report says they're worth every penny of the donation dollars they receive from charitable foundations for the causes they support.
The study of 20 nonprofits in the Northwest included seven in Washington, working on advocacy issues ranging from homelessness prevention to immigrants' rights. It tracked all the foundation money they received, and found the groups were able to leverage every dollar, about 150 to one.
Aaron Dorfman, executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
, says individuals can take a hint from the results.
"If you're an individual donor and you want to make a difference on issues, find some advocacy groups that are working in your community to build long-term solutions to these problems, and you'll see a real return on your dollar, too."
The report says in Washington, the funds supported campaigns to curb predatory lending, fight homelessness and advocate for health care access and environmental issues. Co-author Lisa Ranghelli notes the groups also worked to keep state funding in place for affordable housing and to create clean energy jobs.
"These are all the more impressive given that the recession has hit and that many states are struggling - and organizations are still able to make the case for why these investments are important for their state."
The immigrants rights coalition One America
, the Statewide Poverty Action Network
, and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
were among the nonprofits that agreed to be part of the study. It is online at www.ncrp.org