The economy may be slowly turning the corner, but there’s a bump in the road that has some nonprofit organizations backed into a corner. According to The Washington Post, Congress wants to cut about $30 billion from the budget – much to come from support to nonprofit organizations.
Government funding doesn’t benefit all 1.5 million nonprofits in the country, yet more than half (58%) of the organizations listed on The Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100 receive at least some financial contributions from the government. Budget cuts will force many nonprofits to turn to cost-effective and efficient ways to get messages out that will resonate with supporters and lawmakers in an effort to retain full funding for their missions.
Planned Parenthood mobilized a social media campaign to fight back against proposed cuts to its government support called “I Stand with Planned Parenthood.” The organization asks supporters to take actions, such as signing an online petition (with more than 800,000 signatures to date), calling local legislators and texting, Tweeting and posting their support on social networks to build grassroots buzz.
Other organizations, including Children’s Leadership Council (CLC), a coalition of about 60 advocacy groups, are turning to public relations as a strategy to earn public attention without the need for large-scale paid media purchases to get messages out to constituents and lawmakers.
Budget squeezes for nonprofit organizations are nothing new. Many learn to operate on a shoestring budget from the outset. But for those that rely heavily on government support, the proposed cuts could be a tragic blow to their social missions. Hopefully, with large-scale public support rallied in advance of the cuts passing, Washington will hear the voices of citizens who rely on these leading nonprofits and will choose to soften the budgetary blow.