Budget constraints pose a continuing challenge for managers in nonprofit and public sector human service agencies, exacerbated during periods of economic downturn. This body of research emerged from the experiences of public sector senior managers in county human service organizations engaged in five years of budget reductions associated with the Great Recession of 2008-2013. The major findings from case studies of eleven county agencies highlighted the importance of support from county leadership and collaborative employee unions. Effective decision-making strategies were data-driven, informed by clearly articulated guiding principles, and focused on organizational re-structuring, internal and community partnerships, staffing strategies, and fiscal management (Graaf, et al., 2016).
A separate analysis explored the impact of the recession on the nonprofit sector through a case study of an initiative aimed at rebuilding a county’s safety net (Radu et al., 2015).