April 14, 2010; Spartanburg Herald Journal | You almost need a spreadsheet to calculate all the ways public funding for nonprofits is being cut or eliminated as municipalities around the country tighten their spending. In yet one more example, local nonprofits in Spartanburg, S.C., are bracing for a proposed 20 percent across-the-board cut in funds paid to them from the city’s hospitality taxes, which have declined $300,000 in the past 18 months.
The drop is the result of consumers themselves spending less on food and beverages and other tourism-related activities. For organizations that rely on public funding, if approved after a June hearing, the proposed cuts will hurt. But to make up for the shortfall, some heads of nonprofit groups say they will get creative. For instance, with less money to spend on advertising to promote its upcoming events, the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium says it will make more use of social networking, such as Facebook and Twitter, to help sell tickets. Some might also trying their hand at using the 140-character limit for Tweets to come right to the point: “We need your help. Send $$$.”—Bruce Trachtenberg