Posts Tagged by recession
|May 11, 2013||Posted by M. P. under Budget, Education, Youth Development|
A report from the Afterschool Alliance highlights another example of programs experiencing decreased funding and increased demand. This challenge, already felt by mental health providers and food banks, is also affecting afterschool and summer programs. Uncertain Times 2012: Afterschool Programs Still Struggling in Today’s Economy discusses the results of a study examining the impact of the economy on afterschool programs for youth, noting that although they provide a popular and worthy service, their budgets continue to dwindle.
The study found that programs in urban, suburban and rural areas are all struggling with less funding and increased demand for their services. Additional findings include,
- Nearly 40 percent of programs surveyed reported budgets that are “in worse shape” currently than in the midst of the recession four years ago. Specifically, 68 percent of programs serving a mostly African-American population and 65 percent of those serving a mostly Latino population reported diminished funds compared to three years ago.
- Over half of the programs (58 percent) reported being at or above maximum capacity with 36 percent maintained a waiting list. Demand for afterschool programs serving African-American and Latino children was reported to be even higher. Among programs serving primarily African-American youth, 65 percent were at or above maximum capacity, and 41 percent had a waiting list. Among those serving primarily Latino children, 70 percent were at or above maximum capacity and 48 percent had a waiting list.
The Pittsburgh Project, a nonprofit community development organization on Pittsburgh’s North Side, is featured in this report as an example of the real-world impact of economic conditions on a local program. Since the economic downturn, the Pittsburgh Project has experienced a 40 percent decrease in their budget resulting in staff layoffs, reduced hours, fewer children served and the elimination of many program activities.
|February 24, 2013||Posted by M. P. under Education, News, Research||
The topic of college costs is back in the news as demands for increased accountability and transparency are once again catching momentum in Washington and beyond. While the value of a college education may not be adequately measured by economic formula alone, the combination of sticker shock and a slow economy could result in a more cautious, or arduous, decision-making process for families. With the average cost for one year of tuition and fees at a private 4-year university now costing over three times what it did my salad days, researching what you get for your considerable investment is understandable, if not expected, in 2013. The twist is that the actual draw for students may not be at all related to academics.
Beth Akers of the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings Institution asks some interesting questions around increased non-instruction spending in higher education in relation to the rising costs of tuition, board and fees for students in two and four-year institutions. While discussions of the value and accessibility of a college education (without having to take on $50,000+ in loans) may appeal to most with teenage children, Ms. Akers notes that a recently released paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the realities of market demand show that but for the the top tier of students, amenities greatly overshadow academics. Data from the 1990’s through 2004 indicate that students not headed to high-level academic institutions are swayed by and, more importantly, will pay for nicer dorms, gyms and activity centers.
So, the best way to attract the majority of college-bound youth is with a wide range of recreational offerings and top of the line facilities in which to house them. Colleges know this and it would be counter-intuitive for them to stop giving prospective students exactly what they want. My question — what, if any, impact will the recession have on this trend? A study from The Higher Education Research Institute reports that over 2/3rds of freshman entering a college or university in 2012 were significantly influenced by the current economic climate, and nearly 60 percent were not attending their first-choice due to affordability concerns. Further, the impact of the cost of a particular institution on student decision-making was ranked as “very important” by approximately 43 percent of incoming freshmen last year, up from 31 percent in 2004. Is the market changing?
What are your predictions for college recruitment and marketing over the next 10 years?
|January 22, 2013||Posted by M. P. under News, Philanthropy, Research||
There has been much focus the past few years on the impact of the economy on philanthropy and nonprofits, but relatively little on the overall impact that nonprofits have on the economy (save some state/local level analysis). But a recent look at nonprofit operations and economics has concluded that private grantmaking has a greater impact than previously assumed – so says new research from The Philanthropic Collaborative.
The report, Economic Impacts of 2010 Foundation Grantmaking on the U.S. Economy, takes a closer look at the $38 billion in foundation grants dispersed throughout the United States in 2010. The authors found positive impacts of the funding at the immediate and short term levels, specifically in wages and jobs, revenue and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. In the midst of the recent recession the foundation monies resulted in the immediate creation of approximately half a million jobs. More notable than that however, was that the study identified long term impacts, including creating partnerships between organizations to encourage local entrepreneurship and grow the presence of for-profit businesses over time. The authors conclude that nonprofit activity does have long-term economic impact, reflected in both the GDP and the country’s employment rate.
The complete report, including eight community-level case studies of diverse initiatives and programs, is available at The Philanthropic Collaborative’s website.
|August 8, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Management, News||
Watching a segment on a morning show featuring pundits drinking coffee and discussing the difficulty of the job market for anyone under age 30 reminded me of a chat I had with a nonprofit leader back in the midst of the fiscal maelstrom. He lamented that his children – all young adults, finishing school or starting off in their various fields – were never going to have either the professional opportunities or the standard of living that he had achieved. I thought to myself that Gen X didn’t have it particularly easy either: the “new normal” of guaranteed job insecurity, 1.5 to 2 incomes needed to buy a modest house (forget about being too choosey about the school district), raising children while planning (or actively caring) for aging parents, and carrying the obligation of repaying our own student loans.
However, some recent reports shed light on the extent of the challenges facing young people when it comes to securing employment. The report, No End in Sight? The Long-Term Youth Jobs Gap and What It Means for America from Young Invincibles, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, found that the rate of unemployment for 16-to-24 year olds was more than double the national unemployment rate – 16.5 percent compared to 8.2 percent. The rates for African–American and Latino young adults are even higher – 20.5 and 30.2 percent.
No End in Sight? examines the youth employment gap between what is available in the current economy and what a healthier version (not expected until 2021 unless strong action is taken) would resemble, concluding that the recession has cost youth and young adults over 2 and half million jobs. What makes the impact of the recession more of a concern to the authors is that early experience of unemployment leads to outcomes such as lower lifetime wages and lack of upward mobility.
Demos looks the July 2012 Young Adult Employment Report though a mixed lens, on one hand the unemployment rate for 25-to-34 year olds remained stable at 8.2 percent, but data indicate this cohort also left the labor force – ending their job search for whatever reason.
Tying this bleak outlook back to the nonprofit sector – I was curious about the results from the latest survey from Idealist.org which indicate unemployed young adults are not flocking to the HR departments of nonprofit organizations. According to the data reported in Voices from the Sector: The Idealist.org Nonprofit Job Seeker Report, people 18-to-29 years made up 27 percent of nonprofit job applicants – just slightly above the 24 percent of 30-to-39 year olds and below the 28 percent of job-seekers aged 50 to 54 years. Interesting.
What are you experiencing as a nonprofit professional or job-seeker? Are older persons returning to the full-time workforce, including nonprofit organizations? Are Millenials just not attracted to the sector as much as their older counterparts?
|July 23, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Education, Policy, Research, Youth Development|
A paper from First Focus and the Brookings Institution estimates that 2.3 million children homes have already fallen victim to the foreclosure of their family home with an additional 3.0 million children at risk of losing theirs in the future. These figures do not include the 3 million youth potentially at risk of eviction from rental properties if that property is foreclosed upon. All in all, approximately 8 million children and youth are, or have been, somehow impacted by the unprecendented amount of foreclosures that have occurred in the United States over the past half-decade. .
The Urban Institute released a report earlier this year that examined the impact of the foreclosure crisis on public school students in three east coast cities, Baltimore, New York, and Washington, D.C. The cross-site study, The Foreclosure Crisis and Children: A Three-City Study by Kathryn L. S. Pettit and Jennifer Comey, concluded that foreclosure is a risk factor for students as it disrupts education and social bonds and may increase reports of mental and physical health issues, risk for criminal victimization and the likelihood of attending a school lower-performing than from whence they came. Other conclusions include,
- Racial disparity was mixed across sites. While African-American students were disproportionately affected by home foreclosures in the New York City research site, data indicate that neither Washington DC or Baltimore experienced the same impact.
- In Washington, D.C., students were more likely to be living in less affluent neighborhoods and (in both Washington, D.C., and New York City) in poorer schools prior to foreclosure, compared to the Baltimore site where the foreclosed upon students originally lived in better neighborhoods and attended higher-achieving schools.
- At the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. sites, students impacted by foreclosure were more likely to move out of the school system via transfer to a private school, dropping out, or physically leaving the area than were their New York City peers.
With home foreclosure identified as a trigger for numerous risk factors to the health, safety and development of students, The Urban Institute report lists numerous policy recommendations for public schools, local government, housing officials and researchers to consider when exploring and/or addressing the short and long term impacts of this unprecedented wave of foreclosures.
According to the data from the Brookings paper mentioned above, The Ongoing Impact of Foreclosures on Children by Julia B. Isaacs, in February 2011, 118,000 or 4 percent of Pennsylvania children were already foreclosed upon or in the process of foreclosure on their family-owned home. Has your nonprofit witnessed the impact of home foreclosure on the kids you work with or on clients and their children? Do you consider home foreclosure a risk factor for youth or something different altogether?
|January 16, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Budget, Policy, Research||
Utilization of economic analysis to examine public policy and system operations just makes good sense, especially in this time of budget cuts, freezes and expectations for programs to do more with less. Regardless of some of the rhetoric out there, I doubt that waste and overspending is favored by anyone. The expectation that organizations, whether they serve vulnerable populations or protect the community at large, will make sound fiscal choices is more than fair. It only follows then that decision-making at the policy level is informed and supported by economic analyses. After all, the well-being and safety of an individual or a community is not necessarily best served by the most costly methods.
A brief from the Institute of Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law, sets out an impressive argument for an evidence-based approach to what is, after Medicaid/Medicare and social security, considered a third rail in politics - criminal justice policy. In Balanced Justice: Cost-Benefit Analysis and Criminal Justice Policy, Jennifer Rosenberg suggests that an economic analysis of current crime control and corrections policies versus alternative approaches proven to operate more effectively and lower costs would:
- align with the trend in funder demand for evidence-based programs;
- respond to the current movements in favor of empiricism and transparency as opposed to emotion-based messaging and political favoritism;
- answer the call for lower and smarter spending in this time of state budget shortfalls.
The brief, which details the use of economic analysis in justice policy and examples of states that have successfully adopted a cost-benefit analysis approach as part of their criminal justice planning and policy process, is available for download at the Institute of Policy Integrity website.