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Nonprofit blame game

December 20, 2008

Re "Bigger, bolder ... and poorer," Dec. 14

I've watched The Times' reporting about the Museum of Contemporary Art with mixed feelings.

You reported that "MOCA's financial house is in shambles." What did you expect? Foundation investments are uncertain from year to year, and individual contributions are always hard to predict given the many compelling needs in our community. I am convinced that over the next 12 to 18 months, we will see many more cases of nonprofit organizations that can't make ends meet in the face of unprecedented demand for services.

Dozens of executive directors met with us recently to learn how to get their board members to pay attention to the financial facts of life of running a nonprofit enterprise in California. Most won't attract front-page attention or a generous offer to bail them out. But, like MOCA, everyone will be looking for someone to blame.

Regina Birdsell

Los Angeles

The writer is president and chief executive of the Center for Nonprofit Management.

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