Sequestration: How will your organization weather the cuts?

posted on: March 7, 2013

By Lisa Ranghelli

As the New York Times reported on Sunday, the mandatory across-the-board federal budget cuts that went into effect on March 1st are likely to hit the lowest-income Americans particularly hard.

Many of the nonprofits that provide services to vulnerable individuals and families do so with federal support, and they will be affected as well. These organizations have already been forced to do more with less since the recession hit in 2008, when demand for services went up at the same time that foundations saw their endowments fall. Now nonprofits may be squeezed even tighter.

How can philanthropy play a positive role in the midst of what could be a sequestration tsunami?

The first thing they can do is ask their grantees whether and how they anticipate being affected by federal budget cuts, either directly because the organization receives federal resources, or indirectly because the population it serves will be in greater need due to cuts in other services. 

Then the foundation can ask what the organization needs to get through the crisis, and see if the foundation can help with emergency loans or grants or point to other entities that can help.

Do you agree? Take our poll and let us know. 

Lisa Ranghelli is director of NCRP’s Grantmaking for Community Impact Project.