New Commonwealth Insights: Massachusetts Nonprofits Generate Over 551,000 Jobs and $36 Billion in Wages

Comm Insights 2019 2nd ed website (1)-minToday MNN released the latest edition of Commonwealth Insights, “The Nonprofit Sector Jobs Engine And Strategies for Strengthening It.”

The new report draws on recently-released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to paint the most up-to-date picture of the nonprofit sector’s economic impact in Massachusetts. The data shows that in 2017, Massachusetts nonprofits generated 551,117 jobs and $36.1 billion in wages. Nonprofits comprised almost 18% of the total workforce, the fifth highest percentage in the country.

The data also shows that from 2013 to 2017, nonprofit employment in Massachusetts grew by 41,763 jobs, an increase of 8.2%, and annual nonprofit wages grew by $6 billion, an increase of 20%.

“The nonprofit sector’s economic impact is not only large, it’s growing at a rapid clip,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “The roles of nonprofits as economic engines and as service providers are both crucial to protect.”

The report makes three policy recommendations in support of the Massachusetts nonprofit sector:

  • Preserve and grow charitable giving, including the creation of a federal universal tax deduction and the restoration of the Massachusetts state charitable tax deduction;
  • Streamline state-level reporting requirements to remove duplication and reduce costs associated with reporting;
  • Optimize employer policies so that they work for nonprofits as well as for-profits.

The most recent edition of Commonwealth Insights comes on the heels of a Giving USA Foundation report released in late June, which found that individual donations to American charities dropped by $3.2 billion nationwide in 2018 ($10.4 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars).

Previous editions of Commonwealth Insights have explored the potential impact of 2017’s federal tax reform law on Massachusetts nonprofits.

“The nationwide drop in charitable giving resulting from the change in the federal tax code is a concerning trend. The recommendations outlined in this new report will preserve and strengthen the nonprofit sector’s role as cornerstones of our communities,” added Klocke.

Commonwealth Insights publications highlight policy, issues, and trends important to the nonprofit sector published by MNN. This is the second edition of Commonwealth Insights in 2019. Earlier editions focused on federal government shutdowns, year-end fundraising strategies, the 2020 Census, and the impacts of federal tax reform. Prior editions can be viewed at

MNN CEO on Drop in Charitable Giving: Bad News – And a Warning Signal

The report, “Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018” issued today by Giving USA, found that charitable giving decreased by 1.7% and that individual giving decreased by $10.4 billion nationwide in 2018. The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) released the following statement from CEO Jim Klocke:

“This is bad news for the people served by nonprofits–and a warning signal about the end of 2019.

When the economy grows, giving should increase, and it usually does. But not in 2018.

As MNN’s Commonwealth Insights reports have outlined, the 2017 federal tax bill raised the cost of giving by 28% for tens of millions of people across the country. When the cost of something goes up by 28%, there will be an impact. Today’s Giving USA report documents the impact–a drop in individual contributions of over $10 billion nationwide in 2018. That drop will have real effects for the people served by nonprofits and the communities they live in, including here in Massachusetts.

Today’s news is a warning signal because not everyone affected by the federal tax bill realized it when they made their 2018 contributions. They do now: many learned that they lost the giving deduction this past spring. The question is now what happens to 2019 individual contributions. There is a real risk that they will drop again, and by even more than $10 billion.

What should we do? First, we should restore the charitable contributions tax deduction for the millions who lost it in 2018. Second, we must make it available to everyone. We should also encourage donors to increase their giving this year, so that the 2018 drop becomes an aberration. MNN is committed to pursuing these strategies that will support the strength, viability, and sustainability of the nonprofit sector.

The people served by nonprofits, and the communities they live in, deserve no less.”

Previous editions of MNN’s Commonwealth Insights reports have explored the potential impact of the 2017 federal tax bill on Massachusetts nonprofits. Click here to download, “From Challenges to Opportunities: How Nonprofits Can Make Sense of the New Tax Law” (2018). Click here to download, “Tax Reform: Up to $513 Million of Massachusetts Donations at Risk” (2017).

House Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Spilka, Secretary Kennealy Celebrate Nonprofit Awareness Day


Yesterday, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Karen Spilka, and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy joined hundreds at the State House to celebrate Nonprofit Awareness Day: A Celebration of Nonprofit Excellence, an awareness event honoring the contributions of nonprofits in Massachusetts. The celebration was hosted by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) and presented by Citizens Bank.

“Over 33,000 nonprofits are making a difference in every corner of the Commonwealth, adding significant contributions to the health and vitality of our communities,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Yesterday, we recognized 27 nonprofits that typify the excellence of the state’s nonprofit sector. We are also grateful for Citizens Bank for their continued support of the Nonprofit Awareness Day Celebration.

“Yesterday we celebrated the 33,000 nonprofit organizations that are the cornerstone of our communities,” said Jerry Sargent, President of Citizens Bank, Massachusetts. “At Citizens Bank, we are honored to partner with the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and celebrate the remarkable work of over half a million employees providing valuable resources for our fellow citizens day in and day out.”

Nonprofit Excellence Awards were presented to four organizations and two professionals that exemplified the innovative and effective work of nonprofits across Massachusetts. The winners were nominated by peers and community members and were selected by an independent panel of nonprofit and business leaders. This year, the independent panel selected 27 finalists for the Nonprofit Excellence Awards from almost 100 nominations.

The Nonprofit Excellence Award winners were:

In the month leading up to Nonprofit Awareness Day, MNN’s #MAkingadifference social media campaign engaged hundreds of nonprofit and business leaders on social media to communicate the positive impact of nonprofits across the state. Participants in the social media campaign shared thousands of pictures, stories, and statistics that illustrated the depth and breadth of the state’s nonprofit sector.

Policy Alert: Encourage Your State Senator to Support the Complete Count Grant Program

Last Thursday, Senator Sal DiDomenico filed a $5 million budget amendment (FY2020-SE-14) to the State Senate’s version of the budget to support the Complete Count Grant Fund. The Fund would support direct outreach by community-based nonprofits during the 2020 Census. MNN encourages nonprofits to reach out to their state senators to ask them to support this amendment. Nonprofits are trusted messengers and will play a key role in reaching hard-to-count communities during the 2020 Census. The participation of these communities is critical to making sure Massachusetts receives adequate federal funding and political representation in the next decade.


Click this link to find and contact your state senators. Click here for additional resources for nonprofits to participate in the 2020 Census.

U.S. Department of Labor Seeking Public Comments on New Overtime Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)’s proposed new overtime rule was published in the Federal Register. The new rule would:


  • Raise the salary minimum for exemption as an executive, administrative, or professional employee from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $679 per week ($35,308 per year).
  • Allow employers to satisfy up to 10% of the salary minimum through non-discretionary bonuses, incentives, and/or commissions that are paid annually or more frequently.
  • Raise the threshold for exemption as a “highly compensated employee” to $147,414 in total annual compensation.
Members of the public can submit written comments on the proposed rule here until May 21, 2019.

Policy Alert on State Appropriation for 2020 Census Outreach

Today the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee released its FY 2020 state budget recommendations. This version contained a $2 million appropriation to support Census outreach through a statewide Complete Count Grant Program. The purpose of this program is to ensure an accurate 2020 Census count by supporting nonprofit organizations with competitive grants for direct outreach to hard-to-count communities in Massachusetts.

MNN applauds House leadership, members, and the House Ways and Means Committee for making a strategic investment in efforts to ensure a complete count. Census data determine political representation and the allocation of more than $16 billion in federal funds for the Commonwealth every year. The 2020 Census faces unprecedented challenges that will make achieving an accurate count difficult.

Today’s release of the House Ways and Means recommendations will be followed by deliberation by the full House of Representatives, before the Senate Ways and Means Committee issues its budget recommendations next month. MNN encourages members to take the following steps:

  • Contact your state representatives to say thank you and encourage them to include the $2 million appropriation for the Complete Count Grant Program in their final budget.

  • Contact your state senators and ask them to create an appropriation for the Complete Count Grant Program in their version of the budget.

Click this link to find and contact your legislators.

Contact MNN’s Director of Government Affairs Danielle Fleury with any questions.

MNN Kicks Off 2020 Census Efforts with Statewide Partners

2019-04-01 10.08.22

Secretary of State Bill Galvin launches statewide 2020 Census efforts in Framingham, MA.

Last Monday, MNN took part in two Census kickoff events. Secretary of State Bill Galvin launched statewide efforts at a ceremony in Framingham hosted with Mayor Yvonne Spicer (click here for Boston Globe coverage of the event). Boston Mayor Marty Walsh held a kickoff event with nonprofit and community leaders in East Boston (click here for WBUR coverage).

As trusted messengers, nonprofits can play an important role in driving Census participation in hard-to-count communities. Nonprofits that are interested in learning more about and getting involved with the 2020 Census can:

  • find and join their local Complete Count Committee using this tool on the Secretary of State’s website;
  • promote job opportunities with the Census Bureau within their networks; and
  • visit for an up-to-date list of tools and resources to aid in Census public education and outreach.

MNN will provide additional information and resources as the 2020 Census draws closer. Contact Fernando Martinez with any questions or comments.

Today is One Year Away from Census Day 2020

Census 1 Year Out Kickoff MemberNews
Census Day 2020 is April 1, 2020- a year from today. From every decennial census comes data that determines political representation and redistricting for the next ten years, informs academic and policy research, and drives over $16 billion in federal funding to Massachusetts every year for Medicare, Medicaid, Title I public school funding, infrastructure investments, and other important programs.

In the 2020 Census, nonprofits will play an important role in census education and outreach to the communities they serve. As trusted messengers, nonprofits can help maximize the participation of “hard-to-count” communities that may feel reluctant to complete the Census, or face challenges related to doing so. (For more information, read our June 2018 Commonwealth Insights report.)

As the 2020 Census draws closer, MNN will provide nonprofits with resources and tools to engage in public education and outreach. Click here for a list of resources for nonprofits to engage with the 2020 Census.

For more information on how to get involved with 2020 Census outreach, please contact MNN’s Marketing and Communications Manager Fernando Martinez.

MNN Calls for an End to Federal Government Shutdowns

Today MNN sent a letter to the Massachusetts congressional delegation calling for their support of legislation that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year and prevents future shutdowns.
“Shutdowns place an undue burden on nonprofits that step in when people who work for and rely on the federal government are left vulnerable,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “We encourage Congress to enact a mechanism to prompt automatic continuing resolutions that protect service organizations and workers, and prevent the harmful disruption of future government shutdowns.”
The historic 35-day shutdown that lasted from December 22, 2019, to January 25, 2019, had significant, and likely long-lasting effects on nonprofits throughout Massachusetts.
In January, MNN surveyed nonprofits to determine how the shutdown impacted organizations and the people they serve. The specific impacts on nonprofits reported in the survey included:
  • increases in demand for services under existing budgetary constraints;
  • disruptions in current funding streams, and little to no federal technical assistance;
  • delays in anticipated grant cycles, including uncertainty around the status of grant applications and planned projects;
  • lapses in federal approval needed to carry out local activities.
The full letter can be viewed here.

Massachusetts Nonprofits Feel Squeezed by the Federal Government Shutdown

Nonprofits and those they serve are being impacted by the federal government shutdown, and many more may be affected if the shutdown continues, according to a survey conducted by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN).

“The results of the survey speak to the incredible strain on nonprofits caused by the uncertainty of federal funding and increased demand for services,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Many organizations are on the front lines serving furloughed federal employees and others who are impacted by the shutdown.”

Among the specific impacts cited by nonprofits include:

  • disruptions in current funding streams, including delays in current grant programs, uncertainty around entitlement funding, and little to no federal technical assistance on grant and program administration;
  • delays in current or upcoming grant cycles, including uncertainty around the status of completed applications and planned projects;
  • lapses in federal approvals needed to carry out local projects and activities;
  • a reduced ability to carry out daily operations while facing an increased demand for services.

Erin McAleer, President of Boston-based nonprofit Project Bread, said, “Our clients—SNAP recipients—are confused and anxious. We are hearing from more people who need help accessing food, including furloughed federal employees. Mitigating the impact of the shutdown is our top priority, but as a nonprofit, the attention the shutdown demands is consuming significant resources and staff time across our entire organization.”

“The results from the survey make it clear that the shutdown must end,” said Klocke. “MNN recognizes the heightened need caused by the shutdown and will continue to serve the nonprofit sector during this critical time.”