Coping with Cutbacks: The Nonprofit Guide to Success When Times Are Tight


8-1/2″ x 11″, hard cover, 111 pages, Fieldstone Alliance.


Steer your nonprofit through short-term crises and long-term change with Coping with Cutbacks.

This timely book, shows readers how to shift their thinking from “How do we get more money to keep our nonprofit functioning?” to “How do we involve other segments of the community to address important issues?”

The first part of the book shows you how to involve business, government, and other nonprofits to solve problems together. In the process, you’ll be making new connections, creating buy-in, and bringing new partners to the table.

The second part of this unique guide gives you a six-step process for coming up with solutions to problems — financial or otherwise — that your organization is facing. The steps are similar to what a consultant might use to help you clarify the problem, set up criteria for success, brainstorm strategies, and finally, pick the best options. Detailed worksheets walk you through each step and help you write a workplan.

You’ll also find immediate help with 185 specific cutback strategies. These strategies can be put to use right away to help you overcome short-term crises, manage change, and use your resources more effectively. They include:

  • 51 ways to increase revenues, manage money differently, increase fund-raising, expand services, and improve productivity
  • 64 ways to cut costs, deal with bills, modify staffing, and change services
  • 28 ways to change how your organization works, including its mission, culture, and structure
  • 40 ways to involve more people in solving your problem, including other nonprofits, businesses, the community, and the government.

Detailed worksheets, examples, and a step-by-step format provide ideas and guidance for organizations needing to move quickly.

Table of Contents

1. What’s Going On Out There?

  • On the one hand, some tough challenges … and on the other hand, some opportunities
  • How are nonprofits going to react?

2. How to Engage the Community

  • Sector values
  • Arenas of influence
  • From premise to practice

3. How to Generate Strategies

Step 1: Know yourself
Step 2: Clarify the problem or opportunity
Step 3: Outline the process for developing and selecting strategies
Step 4: Establish criteria for success
Step 5: Brainstorm strategies
Step 6: Select the visible strategies

4. Cutback and Engagement Strategies

  • How to use the strategies list
  • The strategies

Appendix A: Strategies Checklist

Appendix B: Reproducible Worksheets

Worksheet 1A: Know Your Values, Mission, Competencies, and Vision
Worksheet 1B: Know Your Decision-Making Style
Worksheet 2A: Clarify the Community Problem or Opportunity
Worksheet 2B: Clarify the Financial Problem
Worksheet 3A: Decide Who to Involve
Worksheet 3B: Write a Work Plan
Worksheet 4: Establish Strategies
Worksheet 5: Brainstorm Strategies
Worksheet 6A: Select the Visible Strategies
Worksheet 6B: Write an Implementation Plan
Appendix C: Survey Responses


Read the Introduction

About the Author

Emil W. Angelica is a principal consultant with the Community Consulting Group. The Group specializes in working with nonprofit organizations, in particular providing technical assistance in governance, planning, and forming alliances.


Coping with Cutbacks is guaranteed. If you are not 100% satisfied, you may return it within 30 days for a full refund.


“Simple and practical. The short sections and bulleted format made it very fast and easy to read — a must for organizations needing to move quickly!”
— Jennifer S. Vanica
Executive Director, Jacobs Family Foundation and Jacobs Center for Nonprofit Innovation

“A comprehensive look at cutback actions … Thought provoking, well-organized, and thorough.”
— Dave Martin
President, Northland Institute

“A very user-friendly book. Combines common sense thinking and useful exercises into a package that does not exist elsewhere.”
— Patrick J. McCormack
Legislative Analyst, Minnesota Senate