“While Washington lawmakers play the blame game over who is responsible for letting sequestration’s automatic spending cuts go into effect, America’s nonprofits, and the people they serve, have been the first to suffer the consequences.
“Nonprofits have been in limbo for months already due to sequestration’s uncertainty, with contract renewals held up as states and localities wait to see how they are affected by the cuts. While for-profit road-builders cease laying asphalt until payments are guaranteed, nonprofits continue providing needed services in their local communities. Nonprofits with government contracts and grants haven’t kicked at-risk children out of group homes, cut back on care for mentally ill individuals, or stopped serving meals to seniors. Instead, nonprofits have continued operations as best they could, effectively subsidizing governments.
“As the reality of sequestration cuts play out, the work of nonprofits is going to become even more difficult from multiple compounding factors as many are hit by direct funding cuts to programs, hit again as state and local governments cut their funding further to make up for their own budgets being cut, and hit a third time as people who are furloughed or laid off as part of sequestration turn to nonprofits for help in unprecedented numbers. Charitable nonprofits are already severely depleted from doing so much more, for so many more, for so much longer, with so much less; they can no longer underwrite government’s failures. Nonprofit employees and board members can no longer pick up the slack as elected officials refuse to do their jobs.
“The time for playing politics is over. Real people in every community from coast-to-coast and border-to-border are being hurt.
“It is time to speak up for our communities. The 13 million individuals employed by nonprofits, the 63 million who volunteer for nonprofits, and the millions more who are served daily by nonprofits all need to tell policymakers how the cuts will impact their lives. And they need to tell Congress and the President to get back to work, fix the sequester, return to regular order for the federal budget, and stop hurting the American people.”