Advocacy groups for nonprofits to merge

Two prominent lobbying groups that represent nonprofits plan to merge next month, days before the start of a legislative session likely to find them trying to avert funding cuts to their members.

The Connecticut Association of Nonprofits and the Connecticut Community Providers Association plan to join forces under a new name – the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance. The groups said in a statement Tuesday that they will have 600 members when the merger takes place Feb. 1.

Members include many nonprofit social service agencies that contract with the state. Their funding is often among the most vulnerable parts of the state budget, since it is generally not tied to entitlement programs like Medicaid, state employee contracts or other obligations that are more difficult to cut.

The groups also represent nonprofits that advocate for or provide services in health care, arts and culture, housing, recreation and education.