Judging a charity by its efficiency gets a lot of attention. But in today's uncertain economy, potential donors sometimes have to make a much more basic assessment: Is this charity going bust?
A lot of charities are "really strapped" and will be "for the foreseeable future," says Elizabeth Keating, a lecturer in accounting at Boston College who focuses on nonprofit issues. After plunging in 2008 and 2009, charitable giving isn't expected to return to pre-crisis levels for five to six more years, according to Giving USA Foundation, a Glenville, Ill., nonprofit clearinghouse of information about philanthropy in the U.S.
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