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May 06, 2015

Ill. Charities Ramp Up Fundraising as State Budget Cuts Loom

With Illinois officials slashing nonprofit funding as they tackle a $1.6 billion budget deficit, social-service groups are stepping up efforts to build up donations while simultaneously warning that philanthropy cannot make up for reduced government support, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The state last week restored $26 million in cuts made by Gov. Bruce Rauner thanks to higher-than-expected tax revenues, but $300 million in reductions remain in place, and bigger cutbacks are expected next year.

Some programs that got reprieves with last week's restoration will likely be on the chopping block again in 2016. Grant makers are strategizing on how to make the most of stretched resources, including more collaborative projects and greater advocacy to legislators on the impact of cuts. "We are seeing donors stepping up and doing extraordinary things, but it is difficult to say that en masse that's going to be a sustainable solution," said Wendy DuBoe, president and CEO of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.