he nonprofit sector receives approximately 32 percent of its total funding from government grants, said Tim Delaney, president and CEO of the National Council on Nonprofits in Washington, D.C. ”States are afraid to enter into contracts because they’re afraid they won’t be able to pay them. If you are a nonprofit with a government contract, you’re going to be losing that revenue.”
In addition to contract revenue drying up for nonprofits, Delaney estimated that about 700,000 Americans will lose their jobs, and another 800,000 government employees will be forced to take an unpaid furlough day each week. These 1.5 million people might haveto turn to the nonprofit sector to meet needs they no longer can with their diminished or nonexistent paychecks. “When they can’t provide for it themselves, that means they’re going to have to turn to nonprofits, and our burdens are going to start skyrocketing,” said Delaney.
Not only might those 1.5 million seek services, they will be less able to make charitable contribution, said Delaney. “We’ll have less revenue to deal with higher demands for service,” he said. “We’re being asked to do so much more for so many more for so much longer, for so much less.”
NHSA has been trying to educate people around the country about the effects of sequestration, but Policy Director Hayling Price said they’ve had to battle messaging fatigue. “The challenge in getting grassroots to dial in on this is, if they get another call from D.C., what point does it hit home for them?” he said. “They’ve been hearing this for months, and I’m not sure there’s a tangible sense of how devastating this will be.”
Delaney agreed saying, “What people fail to realize is how much federal money flows out through the states and localities to deliver services that appear to come from the state or local governments but are actually federal. We’ve been trying to alert people as to the consequences.”