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NC Nonprofits Gear Up for Budget Battle in Raleigh

May 29, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. - Nonprofits in North Carolina are gathering today in Raleigh to prepare for the tough budget talks ahead, after severe cuts last year. Leaders from organizations serving all 100 counties will meet for special training on how they can more effectively share their messages with lawmakers.

The Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the N.C. Center for Nonprofits, David Heinen, says demonstrating the vital role nonprofits play is critical in tough budget times.

"It is really important for nonprofits to be able to succinctly and clearly show how they're helping one individual, and really be able to tell that story. "

Today, the state House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on its budget proposals for this year. Heinen says that last year, 38 percent of nonprofits in the state had to reduce or eliminate services. And yet, he says, almost half the organizations surveyed say that this year they expect significant increases in demand for their services.

Cuts have affected nonprofit organizations that serve children, seniors, education programs, disability assistance and more. Heinen says it's important for state lawmakers to realize that allocating money to nonprofits to help people in need goes a long way, and the groups must be able to effectively communicate that.

"If they can't tell that story, both quantitatively and qualitatively, it really has a huge impact, both on the organization and the North Carolinians that they're serving. "

On Wednesday, the groups will take part in the third annual NC Nonprofits Day, an event to help make lawmakers aware of the services they provide.

Reporting for this story by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest. Media in the Public Interest is funded in part by Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Stephanie Carson/Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC