The budget impasse in Washington has begun to take a toll on some of the country’s charities, according to a recent report in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
The Chronicle reported that automatic spending cuts are starting to pinch charities, and this could worsen unless Congress and the White House conclude a deal to reduce the budget deficit.
The cuts charities have faced up to now have been relatively small, but a few organizations have had to sharply reduce services.
The report said Head Start programs turned away tens of thousands of students this summer, and 70% of Meals on Wheels programs have cut the number of meals they serve.
The budget problems stem from a compromise agreement in 2011 that imposes automatic spending cuts equally on defense and domestic budgets whenever Congress fails to meet spending reduction targets.
Nonprofit officials worry about the cumulative effect of program cuts, which happen gradually and cover hundreds of government programs and nonprofits that receive federal funds.
The Chronicle said annual cuts would remain in place through fiscal 2021, totaling nearly $1 trillion, unless Congress decides otherwise. That, in turn, would significantly influence nonprofits’ future thinking and future planning.