LiteracyCNY’s fate signals trouble ahead for NY nonprofits

LiteracyCNY’s fate signals trouble ahead for NY nonprofits

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Late payments were a chronic problem long before the pandemic. A recent audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli showed 50% of the contracts between nonprofits and the state in 2019 were executed after the start date. That means agencies were providing services for six months without payment – essentially providing a no-interest loan to the state. That created cash-flow problems and forced them to borrow to pay the bills.

These contracts are not charitable contributions. State and local governments pay nonprofits to provide essential services, such as health care, care for the disabled, education, social services and homeless services. Such contracts often are the main source of revenue for nonprofits. The sector employed 1.3 million people in the state (pre-pandemic), about 18% of the state’s workforce, and generated $260 billion in annual revenue, according to the New York Council of Nonprofits, the group behind the letter to the governor.

One widely cited analysis of the economic fragility of the nonprofit sector predicted that more than 1,800 nonprofit agencies in New York state could close due to the pandemic. The closure of just one, LiteracyCNY, will send ripples across our community.

Three full-time staff and two contract teachers will lose their jobs. Roughly 400 students per year, many of them new Americans learning English as a second language, will no longer receive literacy instruction. Not being able to read proficiently will hamper their ability to participate in civic life, help their children in school and seek education and higher-paying jobs for themselves.

Source Name: 
Syracuse.com
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