AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A dozen nonprofits with a wide variety of missions set up shop in the Hall of Flags at the state house with a goal of explaining their triumphs and tribulations to legislators.
"All we all want to do is serve the people of Maine," stated Brenda Peluso, director of public policy for the Maine Association of Nonprofits. Peluso says increased demand for services and decreases in funding are putting the squeeze on some organizations.
"I think for organizations that contract with the state, that provide human services to some of our neediest people, they are feeling a lot of stress," she explained. "We are hearing from a lot of our members that programs are being dropped, there are long wait lists for people needing services, and programs are closing."
"Everyday we find more and more people that are in need, people that are in poverty, people are losing their jobs, and we just don't have enough services out there to help everybody," said Ginny Andrews, nutrition services manager for Western Maine Community Action. "Funds are shrinking and our numbers are growing everyday."
Andrews says WMCA served more than 15,000 people last year in Franklin, Oxford and Androscoggin counties, helping them with food, shelter, job counseling and fuel assistance.
"We are finding it very difficult to help all those people," she explained.
She says having the ability to meet with legislators, not just from her region, but from across the state gives them a chance to discuss the challenges they face moving forward.
"I think they know. I think they are dealing with so many issues that I think poverty, or being able to help people on a level like this, may not be a priority," said Andrews.
Nonprofit Day was also a chance for nonprofit organizations to release the results of a recent study they commissioned that shows the impact of nonprofits on the economy, as well as on the people they serve.
The report, 'Partners in Prosperity' highlights the contributions made to the state's economy by the nonprofit sector. The report says nonprofits contribute roughly $9.3 billion to the economy of Maine each year, and that one in seven people employed in the state works for a nonprofit.
This year marks the tenth year nonprofits have held an informational session at the state house.