Charities Proliferate in Del. Despite Rough Financial Seas

Nonprofit groups are launching at a faster rate in Delaware than in the nation as a whole, but the new, mostly tiny charities are entering a difficult financial world, writes The News Journal.

The number of charities in Delaware has increased 65 percent since 2000, compared to 50 percent nationally. The Wilmington daily reports that most of newer groups are small, specific in their missions (for example, helping diabetic cats or providing blankets for foster children), and founded by people who say no other organization is doing the work they want to do.

Nearly half of Delaware’s most active charities spent more money than they collected in 2010. Many nonprofit groups survived the recession thanks to federal stimulus money that has now dried up.

“Since 9/11, there’s been more of a—I don’t mean this to sound pejorative—knee-jerk reaction to start a new charity whenever something goes wrong,” said Chuck McLean, vice president of research for GuideStar, a company that tracks trends in nonprofits. “Somebody gets excited about something and thinks, ‘I can do this better than other people.’ Very few of these charities are going to last.”

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