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Here’s the press release from the N.C. Center for Nonprofits:
Raleigh, NC – What does the $3.7 billion budget shortfall mean to nonprofits in North Carolina? More than 200 nonprofit leaders from across the state will convene on January 19 to discuss this critical question and how the new legislative landscape will affect the nonprofit sector in 2011.
The nonprofit sector provides about 400,000 jobs in North Carolina, roughly 10 percent of the state’s workforce. Last year, 40 percent of North Carolina nonprofits reduced staff, according to a survey from the N.C. Center for Nonprofits.
“North Carolina nonprofits experienced a 26% decline in state support last year. According to a new report from the Urban Institute, North Carolina’s decreased investment in nonprofits was the fourth-worst of any state in 2009,” said David Heinen, director of public policy and advocacy with the N.C. Center.
Moreover, state-funded nonprofits in North Carolina experience a wide range of government contracting issues. These include overly complex and difficult-to-complete government bidding and reporting requirements, unexpected changes to contracts made by the government mid-term, and even nonpayment of contracts and grants.
These state cuts and contracting problems have forced already efficient nonprofits to downsize staff, reduce salaries and benefits, and dip into lines of credit. With nothing further to cut internally, a third of North Carolina nonprofits had to reduce their level of service this year. Given the state’s looming 2011 budget shortfall, North Carolinians in need are likely to face even deeper cuts.
“What may be less obvious is that nonprofits’ struggles affect the quality of life for all North Carolinians, not just those who rely on the social safety net. As support for nonprofits wanes, children, seniors, low-income families, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and others who rely on their services can’t get the level of care they need,” said Heinen.
At the gathering Wednesday, nonprofit leaders will hear about the changing landscape of the N.C. General Assembly, receive training on working with legislators and advocating for their causes, and learn about the state rules and requirements for lobbying. In addition, United Way of North Carolina and the N.C. Budget & Tax Center will present an update on the state budget and the outlook for economic recovery in North Carolina.
Wednesday’s event will be held 9:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh and is sponsored by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.