The $3.5-trillion federal budget that President Obama has proposed for 2010 would affect federal programs in a variety of ways that affect charities.
Among items in the president’s budget of particular interest to nonprofit organizations:
Arts and humanities. President Obama proposed that the National Endowment for the Humanities receive about $171-million, up $16-million, or more than 10 percent, from 2009. The administration proposed increasing the appropriation for the National Endowment for the Arts by about 3.9 percent to $161.3-million.
Housing. Mr. Obama asked that the Department of Housing and Urban Development receive nearly $48-billion next year, an increase of more than 18 percent. The Community Block Grants program would receive $550-million in new money, for a total of $4.5-billion. Programs to help the homeless would receive nearly $1.8-billion, an increase of $117-million.
International aid. The administration’s proposal to spend $8.6-billion next year on what Mr. Obama called a “new, comprehensive global-health strategy” has drawn ire from some global-health charities, which say he has requested far less to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria than he had previously pledged.
Public broadcasting. Mr. Obama would provide the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with a small increase in funds. Mr. Obama asked Congress to provide the corporation with $502-million. Included in the total is a $440-million, two-year advance appropriation for the 2012 fiscal year, a $10-million increase from the amount the organization will now receive for 2011 programs. Public broadcasting gets money in advance in part because its programs take a long time to plan.
Social services. The Obama administration asked Congress to eliminate money for some social-services programs that had been staples of the Bush era. But Mr. Obama would provide several other longstanding programs with about as much money as they currently receive.
The White House would eliminate spending for the Compassion Capital Fund, which helps charities and religious groups provide social services; the fund received $48-million in 2009. Mr. Obama sought no money for abstinence education; the government now spends about $133-million on such efforts. The president is asking for $164-million for programs designed to reduce pregnancy among teenagers that would be administered largely by nonprofit organizations.
Volunteerism. Federal programs designed to increase the time that Americans give to charities fared well under the Obama budget plan. The Corporation for National and Community Service would get close to $1.15-billion, which is 29 percent more than is now being spent and about $200-million more than President Obama had proposed earlier this year.
The increase reflects a spending boost authorized by the new Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. Mr. Obama’s budget seeks slightly more than $373.4-million for the Peace Corps, a 10-percent increase from the $340-million the organization now receives.
The president’s budget proposal asked Congress to eliminate or reduce spending on 121 current programs, saving nearly $17-billion and affecting many nonprofit organizations.
Among the programs that would see elimination is the Student Mentoring Program, which currently receives $47-million. The administration said the program, run by the U.S. Department of Education for students in grades four through eight, was found to be ineffective in a recent study.
More information about the budget is available on our Government and Politics Watch column.
— Maria Di Mento, Brennen Jensen, Peter Panepento, Caroline Preston, and Grant Williams