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Charlotte-area nonprofits try to do more with less: Recession leads to mergers and cuts in staff, programs
By Sam Boykin “Doing more with less” has become the grim mantra for many Charlotte industries as the city continues to struggle through the recession. But it’s particularly applicable to the city’s nonprofit sector. With a record-high jobless rate, a growing number of families are in need of basic assistance provided by nonprofits, while donations and contributions to charities and nonprofits have dwindled. “It’s a very challenging time,” said Trisha Lester, vice president of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits in Raleigh. “Many nonprofits, especially those handling basic social service needs, have seen demand go through the roof while their funding has been reduced. Many are cutting programs, laying off staff, forming mergers or shutting their doors altogether.” The Charlotte Coalition for Social Justice, which offered youth programs and events promoting equality, leadership and diversity, lost much of its public and private funding and is in the process of closing, said Brian Collier, senior vice president for Foundation for the Carolinas.