With the state budget almost $500 million in the red, almost any program could be put on the chopping block when the General Assembly meets this year. Non-profit groups who spend state money are among the most vulnerable when the economy slows down and budgets shrink.
Hurricane Floyd relief and lower-than-expected tax revenue are two reasons the state is in a budget crunch. Non-profit groups are getting nervous.
"Non-profits are going to expect to show up and have to give some back to the state treasury, in order to make the budget balance," says Daniel Gerlach of the N.C. Community Center.
Groups who receive money from the federal government may be insulated from state budget cuts. Rising energy prices may also make it difficult to cut money from groups who help the needy.