Nonprofits must speak out

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012

To the editor:

I serve on the board of directors of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits (, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps other nonprofits to lead and manage their organizations effectively, reduce costs, save time and work together to solve social problems.

We’re proud of our 1,605 member nonprofits, which serve all 100 counties of North Carolina.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The federal “fiscal cliff” poses an extremely serious threat to our state’s nonprofit sector and the many people who depend on them. I urge my fellow North Carolinians to contact their members of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation and ask them to work across the aisle to prevent the arbitrary spending cuts that will result if no agreement is reached.

I also urge you to ask our Congress not to add to the strain on nonprofits’ essential work by imposing new caps on itemized deductions that would eliminate tax incentives for donations.

If Congress doesn’t act before Dec. 31, more than $54 billion will arbitrarily be cut from federal programs. In North Carolina it would mean that 70,000 women, children, and families would lose services as nearly $7 million is cut from child care, maternal care and child development block grants that support the work of nonprofits.

The demand for nonprofits’ services would increase while federal funding for many nonprofits would decrease.

Equally important are recent proposals to cap itemized deductions. Because the proposed caps are lower than the amount of fixed-cost deductions like state/local taxes paid and mortgage interest, they would essentially eliminate the tax incentive for individuals to give to charitable nonprofits, this includes churches.

The charitable tax deduction is a unique aspect of Americans’ ability to support the causes they care about.

Gutting it would be like pulling out the rug from underneath those very causes that keep our communities glued together. The nonprofit sector belongs to all of us, and we must take care of it. Whether you’re a board member of a nonprofit, serve on the staff, a volunteer, or simply attend church I hope you’ll speak out for the many nonprofits that stand to lose so much.

– Melissa LeRoy