As a social service professional I tend to focus more on the provider side of services rather than on the fundraising side. But money obviously is a big part of the game. In the current economic down turn, social services are finding themselves without the funds they need to continue operations, as was noted by this article in the New York Times.

The irony of course is that in economic down turns the need for social services goes up, even though providers cut back. It seems every time we find ourselves in an economic crisis, we collectively lament that no one thought ahead and preserved money for a rainy day fund so that we would have services when people need them most.

So it got me thinking that there should be a foundation that only gives out grants in an economic crisis. An emergency fund for emergency services. This way, when vital social services find their budgets pinched, this foundation could step in and provide some monetary relief.

The foundation would fundraise like hell in good economic times and refuse to give away a dime. It would only give out grants during rough times. It’s would be kind of like a forced savings plan on the social services sector. Your thoughts?