Economic Crisis Will Touch Everyone Eventually

Lora Bentley

Obviously, the financial sector has been most quickly and most visibly affected by the economic downturn. Lehman Brothers filed bankruptcy. Banks are consolidating. The government has rescued more than one company already, and will soon be buying out even more debts.

 

As IT Business Edge's Ann All noted last month, the tech sector wasn't hit early by the crisis, but it is apparently beginning to feel the pain now. Large and small software companies, hardware and services companies, and auction sites are making cuts -- or at least thinking about them.

 

And even beyond that, nonprofits will also be affected. Philanthropy.com reported Tuesday:

A "spillover" to charities from "some of the events going on in Wall Street and Washington" is probable, Michael W. Peregrine, a Chicago lawyer, told state officials in charge of regulating nonprofit organizations. Boards of tax-exempt organizations "are beginning to brace themselves for the spillover: this climate of responsibility and possibly recrimination," he said.

The story suggests nonprofit boards may find themselves with a shortage of volunteer members as many decide they don't want to deal with the added scrutiny and increased transparency the current climate requires. The Internal Revenue Service will be asking nonprofits to disclose more information than it used to, says Lois G. Lerner, who directs the agency's exempt organizations division. Internal controls requirements may also increase.

 

But as Lerner pointed out, the process is a continuing one, as is governance as a whole, be it corporate or nonprofit governance.



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