With the state in financial turmoil, Illinois nonprofits and charitable organizations are in the midst of a funding crisis of their own.

These organizations are being forced to get creative with their funding efforts by reaching out to new donors, mobilizing their board of directors and utilizing social media for marketing.

Phil Newton, owner of Perennial Partners, has been working with charities in central Illinois for more than  20 years and has made it his goal to help nonprofits succeed.

One way, is to figure out how to best utilize the resources they already have.

"Many Illinois nonprofit organizations have a rainy day fund, maybe an endowment if they're lucky, to be able to weather the storms," Newton said.

Some organizations have had to take out a line of credit to handle the financial burdens, incurring interest rates and more debt.

Over time, however, Newton believes that this crisis will help charities become more creative and make some necessary changes to the way they operate by focusing on quality employees, rather than an overabundance of staff.

"Sometimes charities can become very staff heavy in terms of dollars; and if they're paying everybody what they should be making, all of a sudden you're paying people a lot of money," he said.

With less employees, higher salaries should follow allowing for more efficient staff.

"In a perfect world, you're going to be able to have charities that attract the best and the brightest," he said. "Pay them what they're worth and their percentage of dollars that go toward staffing will remain low."

Any additional labor can be made up with a heavy pool of dedicated volunteers.

"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.

Insurance policies and a volunteer manual can be utilized to cover volunteers for their work.

In the end, the hope is that the state can come up with a plan to help these organizations get back on solid grounds so they can continue supporting their cause.

In the meantime, nonprofits and charities will have to become more resourceful in order to stay alive, Newton said.



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