By Julia Alvarez, JVA Consulting

Last Thursday, JVA hosted a panel to discuss the federal sequester and the current budget situation, and to learn what they mean for nonprofits. While the information shared by Congressional panelists left many participants feeling uncertain (at best) of the future of federal funding, I also left the panel feeling inspired by the energy of the nonprofits in the room and hopeful that the social change sector has all of the answers it needs to not only survive, but thrive, despite a grim federal funding environment. In response to the panel, and to pending federal funding cuts, JVA wants to offer the following resources to help you continue to provide valuable and necessary services to your clients/stakeholders:

  • If you missed the panel, check out this blog, written by JVA Managing Associate Collin Lessing, which highlights the information shared last Thursday.
  • If you want more specific information on the sequester, check out Senior Associate Lisa Cirincione’s issue paper,  released in November 2012.
  • Visit JVA’s new Federal Funding Resources webpage for information on diversifying your funding.
  • If you are worried about your ability to continue to secure federal funding because of shrinking funding and increased competition, consider attending JVA’s new Social Enterprise Academy, or another one of JVA’s social enterprise trainings to determine how your organization can create or enhance a sustainable earned income strategy, allowing you to steer away from federal funding. If you are not ready to participate in social enterprise, JVA also has trainings on cultivating individual donors, engaging foundations through the Colorado Common Grant Application, writing competitive federal grants, engaging your board and community in fundraising, and many more! Visit our training page to learn more!
  • One of the main recommendations from the Congressional panelists was to write, call, email or visit your congressional leaders and tell them how the sequester will impact you, your work and the services you can provide to vulnerable populations. Be specific, and tell them exactly what will happen to your organization and the people you serve if across the board cuts are sustained.
  • Stay tuned for ways JVA will be helping to connect like-minded organizations! Building partnerships or collaborations, finding ways to reduce service duplication and submitting joint funding applications are all excellent ways to reduce competition locally. JVA is currently exploring ways to help facilitate these partnerships.

Despite the somewhat bleak outlook described by Congressional representatives, we remain hopeful and optimistic that if the sector is willing and able to come together, as it has many times in the past, we will emerge from this stronger, more united and better equipped to tackle challenges that may come our way in the future. If you have additional questions or concerns, if you have resources to share, or if you need more information on any of this, don’t hesitate to let us know!