Grants to N.C. nonprofits tumble

PJ staff report

RALEIGH, N.C. – Battering an already-diminished sector, state-funded grants to North Carolina nonprofits plunged more than 25 percent in fiscal 2010, a blow that ultimately will impact struggling North Carolinians, a new study says.

State-funded grants fell to $363 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, down from $490 million in fiscal 2009, says the briefing from the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, a program of the N.C. Justice Center in Raleigh.

Federal stimulus grants, which often pass through state coffers on their way to nonprofits, helped keep government funding for nonprofits above pre-recession levels during fiscal 2009 and 2010.

But as those grants begin tapering off early next year, nonprofits and the people they serve likely will face further cuts.

Together, state and federal funding for North Carolina nonprofits totaled almost $782 million in fiscal 2010, down from more than $997 million in fiscal 2009.

These cuts in government funding are coming at a time when nonprofits are seeing increased needs from constituents but a decline in donations from supporters.

Almost one in 10 workers in North Carolina are employed by a nonprofit organization, and almost half the nonprofits in the state report cutting staff positions during 2009.

“Continuing to cut back on state funding for nonprofits in North Carolina not only threatens the quantity and quality of services nonprofits provide, it also threatens jobs at a time when nearly on in 10 North Carolinians remains out of work,” the briefing says.

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