Rising Gas Prices Fuels Worries of Nonprofits

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March 7, 2011; Source: Jconline.com | If dealing with the wreckage of economic collapse and declining public support weren't enough to cause grief for nonprofits, now comes one more worry: rising gasoline prices. As this story from the Journal and Courier notes, some Indiana nonprofits are already planning for gas to climb past last weekend's price of over $3.50 a gallon.

"We're prepared for $4 per gallon in our budget," said Catherine Moran, executive director of The Center@Jenks Rest, a Lafayette nonprofit that operates a shuttle service that transports seniors citizens and the disabled people to and from activities throughout the community. She adds that if gas prices go even higher "we'll have to make some decisions."

Another group that provides transportation for low-income families, including children who attend Head Start, is similarly bracing for higher fuel costs. "We've been in the budget revision process," said Pam Biggs-Reed, the group's chief executive. "Transportation, we consider one of our critical services."

Because of the need to serve people who can't afford gas, especially at current prices, groups that provide transportation fear other of their services might have to be cut to keep overall costs in line. Lafayette Urban Ministry, which runs a bus service to give children a ride to its after-school activities, is another group keeping a careful eye on the pump. "We're not thinking about curtailing routes," said Joe Micon, executive director. "But if prices go much further, we'll have to put our heads together."—Bruce Trachtenberg