With the state of Illinois in an $8 billion budget deficit, nonprofits are being forced to get creative in sourcing funds for their operations. Reports say that Illinois lawmakers failed to pass a budget for the second straight year, with state savings falling below the $200 million level, which is expected to sustain operations for only a couple of weeks.
Perennial Partners proprietor Phil Newton told reporters that given the current situation, nonprofits need to optimize their current resources to keep afloat. Perennial Partners is a charities support organization that has been operating from central Illinois for more than 20 years.
"Many Illinois non-profit organizations have a rainy day fund, maybe an endowment if they're lucky, to be able to weather the storms," Newton observed. However, some have been trapped in a cycle of debt as they are forced to take out a line of credit to remain liquid, incurring interest riddled borrowings, he added.
Still, Newton said the belt tightening can only benefit these organizations as they become more creative and effect changes to improve operations, particularly by focusing on the quality over quantity of staff.
With fewer employees, higher salaries would not be a burden because the company’s operations are underpinned by a more efficient staff.
Further, a heavy pool of dedicated volunteers can make up for any additional labour requirements.
"If you have a strong core of volunteers, you're not going to have to worry about overtime regulations because your volunteers will cover the slack," Newton said.