Council of Nonprofits in the News

Peduto: Continue state oversight of Pittsburgh

January 8, 2014

A loosely-formed consortium of nonprofits has contributed to public services since 2005, when over 100 tax-exempt property owners contributed about $14 million. But the total fell to about $2.6 million in 2011 before the last agreement expired. The last group to contribute to what’s been called the Pittsburgh Public Service Fund included 41 members, including the University of Pittsburgh and other schools, health insurer Highmark Inc., and the city’s major churches, according to the National Council of Nonprofits.

Fed. Contracting Case Bad News for Nonprofits

January 6, 2014

Although the National Council of Nonprofits and the Urban Institute released powerful reports on challenges of contracting and payments for nonprofit recipients of governmental grants and contracts, no one should be surprised that the revelations didn’t lead to epiphanies in attitudes and behavior on the parts of federal agencies.

Running the gamut of federal courts right now is a case pitting the federal government against the Shoshone-Paiute tribes living on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation that covers parts of Nevada and Idaho. The federal government had agreed to compensate the tribes for running a hospital on the reservation, but reneged. The tribes sued, won twice in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the federal government is still fighting not to pay. In fact, the Obama administration has asked Congress to approve a plan for permanently limiting how much Native American tribes could be compensated for specific costs associated with government contracts.

This is no isolated issue. The precedential implications are obvious to the federal contractors and other tribes that have joined with the Shoshone-Paiutes to press the federal government to pay up rather than negotiating partial payments. According to the Washington Post, hundreds of tribes say that they are owed some $2 billion collectively. Representing 229 tribes with more than $350 million in unpaid claims, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) warns that the federal government’s attitude “should put some fear into the small, medium and large contractors.”

Five Predictions for 2014

January 2, 2014

The last few years have been tough for nonprofits, and some are predicting more of the same as they struggle to get back to pre-recession funding levels. There are a few factors to blame, including decreased government funding. The shutdown and sequestration didn't help. (Just under one-third of nonprofit funding comes from government grants and contracts.) National Council of Nonprofits VP Jennifer Chandler says it's going to be more of the same in terms of fewer resources on top of increasing demand for their services.

Artists Can Impact ’14 Nonprofit Trends

December 30, 2013

As we look to the year ahead, many Nonprofiteers see January as a time to pivot and revisit last year’s strategies. The National Council of Nonprofits released a timely white paper on 2014 Nonprofit Trends to Watch. Based on the state of the Social Sector, the trends highlight implications for nonprofit staff, boards, donors and community leaders.

Struggling for revenue, local governments look to nonprofits

December 22, 2013

For charities, a tax bill means another overhead expense taking away from their mission of helping those in need. But for cash-strapped local governments — especially those in places such as the Washington area, where much of the land is used by governments, churches, universities, hospitals and nonprofit organizations that don’t pay property taxes — it’s hard to keep cutting off revenue.

“The recession hit,” said David L. Thompson, vice president of public policy for the National Council of Nonprofits. “And all of a sudden, nonprofits that were the anchor of the community and greatly praised by policymakers — ‘Come to our city. Look at the great nonprofits we have!’ — started being treated as scofflaws not paying their fair share.”


A couple of years ago, Boston officials began asking some nonprofits for “payments in lieu of taxes.” Other cities followed or began imposing fees for services such as water, trash removal and public safety.

Maryland NonprofitsIt comes up in Baltimore fairly often, said Henry Bogdan, director of public policy for Maryland Nonprofits. “Whenever the economy goes bad for a while and government revenues drop off, you’ll find certain localities who, under fiscal duress, will look at large nonprofit institutions and say, ‘I wish we could get some money out of them.

Federal OMB Rules on Grants and Contracts Get A-to-Z Overhaul

December 20, 2013

Yes, OMB circulars and guidance sure make for riveting reading, don’t they? But they are important for the thousands of nonprofits that are working on federal grants and contracts. It’s hard to imagine nonprofits that work on federal projects not being familiar with and beholden to A-110, A-122, and A-133 in particular, for their strictures on overhead rates and audit requirements.

That means that this new announcement from the Office of Management and Budget should be core bedtime reading for nonprofits with current or prospective federal grants or contracts. For nonprofits, the new OMB guidelines reflect the continuing pressure that nonprofit advocacy organizations, in this case epitomized by the National Council of Nonprofits, have put on the federal government to remove impediments that make life difficult for nonprofit grantees and contractors.

Nonprofits View Budget Deal With Relief and Wariness

December 11, 2013

The proposal is good for nonprofits because it gets rid of the “gimmick” of automatic spending cuts, said David Thompson vice president for public policy at the National Council of Nonprofits.

The arbitrary across-the-board cuts “hurt lean nonprofits providing great services; they’re getting whacked just as bad as fat programs that could use paring,” he said.

Government Gridlock and Spending Cuts Prevent Social Progress, Say Grant Makers

December 9, 2013

The survey results were welcomed by Tim Delaney, chief executive of the National Council of Nonprofits, who has been sounding alarms for years about government cuts.

“I’m excited to hear that our foundation partners recognize that these cuts by government” impede progress in achieving their missions, he said. “These survey results suggest it’s getting much worse. There’s talk about the economy recovering, but governments are still struggling.”

And as state and federal governments struggle, donors are being asked to fill in the gaps in financing, he said.

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