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Nonprofits See Revenue Bump on Downturn Priorities

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Download the 2010 OC’s LARGEST NONPROFITS List (pdf)

Orange County’s largest nonprofits posted an increase in revenue amid the rugged economy, according to this week’s Business Journal list.

The 60 largest nonprofits here saw yearly revenue of $819 million, up 4.3% from a year earlier. Figures for most nonprofits are for the 12 months through June.

Nonprofits didn’t do much hiring or firing. Paid staff grew 1.2% to 6,911 people. Volunteers increased slightly from a year earlier, up 1.5% to 250,757 people.

The aftereffects of the recession continue to be felt by nonprofits. Those providing services to the poor, homeless, hungry or otherwise needy have seen donations increase. Others focused on the arts and education have seen declines.

While the economy is recovering, demand for services has risen as recipients tap out help from friends and family, according to nonprofit executives.

Some groups have received smaller donations from more donors. Others got a big lift from a few major givers.

No. 24 Costa Mesa-based Share Our Selves, which provides healthcare, food, clothing and other services, saw donations rise 148% from a year earlier to $10.2 million.

The increase was largely due to a $5 million donation from a regular donor who saw the need and stepped up, said Elizabeth Evans, marketing and communications manager for the group.

The donor requested that his or her name remain undisclosed.

No. 11 Irvine-based Orange County United Way also got a lift from big donations. Its revenue was up 43% to $25.6 million.

A few major donors stepped up to help out in the downturn, said Susan Caumiant, vice president of marketing and community investment for OC United Way.

Charities that help victims of domestic violence—which tends to increase with economic strains—also saw more donations.

No. 47 Ladera Ranch-based Laura’s House, which offers shelter and counsel for abuse victims, saw a 72% increase to $4.3 million.

No. 53 Irvine based Human Options Inc. received a 28% boost to nearly $4 million. Human Options offers transitional housing services for victims of domestic abuse.

Many arts and education groups faced big declines in revenue.

No. 28 Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana saw income shrink 48% to less than $9 million; No. 39 Ocean Institute in Dana Point saw revenue decrease 21% to $5.7 million; No. 46 Irvine Public Schools Foundation saw a 13% decline to $4.8 million.

Some local chapters of large national groups also saw decreases.

Dallas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Orange County chapter, No. 47 on the list, saw a 2.5% decline to $4.3 million.

White Plains, N.Y.-based Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s local chapter posted a 4.4% decrease and shared the No. 47 ranking.

The Atlanta-based American Cancer Society’s Santa Ana chapter, No. 50, saw revenue drop 7.3% to $4 million.

Santa Ana-based Goodwill of Orange County again topped the list, as it has for years, with $77 million in revenue, down 2%.

Goodwill brings in much of its revenue from its thrift stores. It also runs an electronic waste recycling program for business and consumers.

The nonprofit’s operations support jobs and job training for disabled people.

Giving Children Hope in Buena Park ranked No. 2 with $58 million in revenue, up 8%. Donations for relief for victims of the Haiti earthquake boosted its revenue.

Founded by John Ditty in 1993, Giving Children Hope distributes surplus medical supplies around the world and runs a local program providing food to needy kids.

The group gathers and distributes used medical equipment donated by hospitals and other healthcare providers.

The local “we’ve got your back” program fills the backpacks of homeless school kids with food to take to their families for the weekend.

“We work with school nurses,” said Harmon Trevino, spokeswoman for Giving Children Hope.

The nurses often are first to see the kids that are hungry because they aren’t doing well in school.

Demand for food remains high and growing, Trevino said. The group served 1,000 children during the 2009-10 school year and aims to double that for this school year, she said.

“We actually have waiting lists,” Trevino said.

No. 7 Newport Beach-based Orange County Community Foundation boosted its income 48% to $30 million.

The foundation manages funds and helps direct donations for many of the county’s wealthiest philanthropists to various other nonprofits.

Download the 2010 OC’s LARGEST NONPROFITS List (pdf)

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