Like governments and private businesses nationwide, nonprofits around the country have had to put hundreds of "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects on hold because of the credit crunch, a new report from the Johns Hopkins University Nonprofit Listening Post Project finds.
Based on a survey of 1,837 organizations, the report, "Shovel-Ready" But Stalled: Nonprofit Infrastructure Projects Ready for Economic Recovery Support (5 pages, PDF), found that while nonprofits always struggle to generate investment capital due to their inability to access equity markets, the recession has compounded their woes, with 1,065 shovel-ready projects stalled by organizations' inability to secure financing. Excluding hospitals and higher education, which were not covered by the survey, nonprofits nationwide have an estimated $166 billion worth of community infrastructure projects ready to go pending the availabilty of funding.
More than 40 percent of the responding organizations reported they had shovel-ready infrastructure projects — 27 percent of which involved new construction and 73 percent renovations or expansions — while 13 percent said they had more than one project on hold. Although California and New York headed the list of states with shovel-ready nonprofit infrastructure projects, stalled projects existed in virtually every state.
"Thanks to this eye-opening data, we now know about existing significant opportunities not just to stimulate employment but also to improve the social infrastructure of our communities," said Tim Delaney, president and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, a Listening Post partner organization.�"Let's make sure nonprofit infrastructure projects are given as much consideration as roads, public buildings, and businesses in the uses made of economic recovery and bank bail-out funds."