PRESS RELEASE: MNN Conference Panel to Address 2020 Census, Cliff Effects, and Workforce Development

2019 Panelist 4 square-min (1)BOSTON, MA – The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) announced that a keynote panel featuring top nonprofit leaders will cover the 2020 Census, cliff effects, and workforce development at the organization’s annual conference on October 16, 2019, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center.

The panel is centered around the conference theme, “Building a Better Commonwealth,” which captures a common aspirations of the Massachusetts nonprofit sector.

The conference’s keynote panelists will be Rachel Heller, CEO of the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA); Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition; and Jerry Rubin, President and CEO of JVS.

The featured topics of the panel represent pressing issues at the forefront of nonprofit work. Nonprofits are playing a critical role in ensuring that hard-to-count communities participate in the 2020 Census. The “cliff effects” phenomenon, in which an increase in work earnings results in a sharp reduction or loss of public benefits, impacts many people that nonprofits serve. And as the state’s nonprofit sector faces a wave of retirements from senior-level positions, innovative workforce development strategies will be needed to develop the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

“We are excited to have Rachel, Eva, and Jerry on our conference keynote panel this year,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Their organizations do great work, and we can all learn from them.”

MNN holds its annual conference every year for nonprofit organizations across Massachusetts. The conference, drawing over 600 attendees annually from Massachusetts nonprofits and for-profit companies that serve nonprofits, is one of the largest gatherings for nonprofit professionals held in the Commonwealth.

About the Panelists

Rachel Heller is the CEO of Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), an organization that encourages the production and preservation of affordable housing to low and moderate income families and individuals and fosters diverse and sustainable communities through planning and community development. Heller will bring to the panel expertise on solutions to combat “cliff effects,” a phenomenon experienced when an increase in work earnings results in a sharp reduction or loss of food, housing, childcare, and other public benefits. She previously worked as the Director of Public Policy at the Alliance for Business Leadership, served as Chief of Staff to Massachusetts State Senator Susan Tucker, and was the Senior Policy Advocate at Homes for Families, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to end family homelessness.

Eva Millona is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition, the state’s largest organization representing the foreign born, and co-chair of the National Partnership for New Americans, the lead national organization focusing on immigrant integration. Millona is the chairperson of the 2020 Complete Count Committee, formed by Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin to provide education and lead community outreach around the decennial census. She will bring to the panel insights on how to encourage census participation in diverse communities. Millona is also the co-chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Refugees and Immigrants and serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement and serves on the Attorney General’s Council for New Americans. She is a frequent speaker on immigrant integration in national and international stages.

Jerry Rubin is President and CEO of JVS, an organization that empowers individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers and partners with employers to hire, develop, and retain productive workforces. Rubin has overseen the adoption of innovative strategies including the nation’s first Pay for Success project to focus exclusively on adult education and workforce development for low-skilled adults. Prior to JVS, Rubin founded and was Executive Director of two nonprofit organizations: the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership, a training and consulting organization, and the Coalition For a Better Acre, a community development corporation based in Lowell, Massachusetts. Rubin also spent ten years in the administration of Boston Mayor Raymond L. Flynn, leading several housing, economic development and workforce development initiatives. He is the author of numerous book chapters, articles, and monographs on housing, economic development, and workforce development issues.

About the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) brings together nonprofits, funders, business leaders, and elected officials to strengthen nonprofits and raise the sector’s voice on critical issues. The network has more than 700 nonprofit member organizations and more than 100 for-profit affiliate partners. To learn more visit www.massnonprofitnet.org.

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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 www.massnonprofitnet.org/CommonwealthInsights.

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).

MNN Welcomes New and Returning Board Members

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MNN is pleased to announce that eight individuals have been elected by its nonprofit membership to the MNN Board of Directors.

Three new board members have been elected to the Board:

  • Dennis P. Carman, President and Executive Director, United Way of Plymouth County, Southeast Regional Seat
  • Amanda Holm Hartigan, Assistant Director of Programs Data & Insight, The Boston Foundation, At-Large Seat
  • Celina Miranda, Executive Director, Hyde Square Task Force, Greater Boston Regional Seat

In addition, five board members have been re-elected to a second term on the Board:

  • Jacquie Anderson, Senior Director of Grantmaking, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, At-Large Seat
  • Elizabeth Cannon, Executive Director, Lowell Association for the Blind, Northeast Regional Seat
  • Charmane Higgins, Human Rights Seat
  • Eric Masi, Executive Director, Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, Human Services Seat
  • Liana Toscanini, Founder and Executive Director, Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, Berkshires Regional Seat

“On behalf of MNN’s Board, I am pleased to welcome our new and returning board members,” said Jim Ayres, Chair of the MNN Board and Vice President for Programs and Strategy at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. “They are pillars of the state’s nonprofit sector, and bring invaluable perspectives and experiences to the organization.”

“We’re fortunate to have these eight distinguished professionals on the MNN Board. Each is a great advocate for nonprofits across the Commonwealth,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN.

The board members were elected at MNN’s Annual Meeting, which was held during the Nonprofit Awareness Day ceremony on June 3, 2019 at the Massachusetts State House. Nonprofit members of MNN voted on the slate of candidates via voice vote at the ceremony, or by proxy ballot.

The MNN Board of Directors includes representatives from all eight nonprofit sub-sectors and all regions of Massachusetts, plus at-large members to ensure that the organization is representative of the entire nonprofit sector.

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

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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.

MNN Kicks Off 2020 Census Efforts with Statewide Partners

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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 massnonprofit.org/2020census 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.

In Memory of Youth Worker, Light of Dawnn Awards Shine Light on Local Unsung Heroes

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Pictured from left to right: Alma Huerta Dominguez; Ian Jaffier, Jr., Dawnn’s brother; Ian Jaffier, Sr., Dawnn’s father; Ketsy Caraballo; Randy Wiskow.

BOSTON, MA (February 26, 2019) – Nonprofit leaders, government officials, and community members came together at the West End House Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday for the fifth annual Light of Dawnn Awards Ceremony to honor the life of Dawnn Ashley Jaffier. Three front-line nonprofit professionals and three high school seniors who embody Dawnn’s legacy were recognized for their service to their communities.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker lauded the award winners for their contributions in a video message that was played at the ceremony.

“I thank the West End Boys and Girls Club for making it their mission to ensure that we remember the example of service demonstrated by Dawnn in her lifetime,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Congratulations to Alma, Ketsy, and Randy and the scholarship recipients for emulating the empathy, compassion, and leadership that Dawnn brought to every aspect of her life.”

The Light of Dawnn Awards were created to honor the memory of Dawnn Jaffier, who was killed on August 23, 2014, while on her way to a neighborhood celebration. At 26 years old, Dawnn had made a significant impact in her community through her work at nonprofits, including the West End House, Playworks, City Year, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston.

After Dawnn’s death, her family, friends, and colleagues came together to create the Light of Dawnn Awards to honor Dawnn’s legacy of compassion and service. The Awards aim to raise the public profiles of nonprofit workers doing important direct-service work, particularly those who do not have prominent or externally-facing roles.

Every year, three direct-service nonprofit professionals are selected to receive a Light of Dawnn Award and a $5,000 cash prize. The Awards are presented by the Highland Street Foundation and managed by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.

This year’s awardees are Ketsy Caraballo, a Community Health Worker and Case Manager Doula at Health Care Without Walls; Alma Huerta Dominguez, the Bilingual Client Services Coordinator at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center; and Randy Wiskow, the Art Director at Cardinal Cushing Centers.

“It is an honor to recognize Alma, Ketsy, and Randy for their outstanding contributions to our community,” said Blake Jordan, Executive Director of the Highland Street Foundation. “Just like Dawnn, these individuals quietly go about their work every day driven by a desire to make a difference in someone’s life.”

“We are pleased to recognize this year’s impressive Light of Dawnn Award recipients that remind us of Dawnn and her legacy of service,” said Jim Ayres, chair of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s board of directors. “Alma, Ketsy, and Randy are outstanding examples of the thousands of nonprofit professionals working in Massachusetts to make their communities stronger.”

In addition, three high school seniors were awarded the Light of Dawnn Scholarships for their community work. Now in their fourth year, the scholarships were created by John Hancock, where Dawnn’s mother is a longtime employee, and the Foundation To Be Named Later. Scholarships of $5,000 are given to each recipient for higher education.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Angelina Botticelli of Boston Arts Academy, Etinnah Garcia of John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, and Dawry Ruiz of Roxbury Preparatory High School.

“It is an honor to celebrate the life and legacy of Dawnn Jaffier by once again joining her family and civic partners to pay tribute to leaders who are serving their communities,” said Rita German of John Hancock. “We are especially proud to recognize Angelina, Dawry, and Etinnah and hope this award helps make their journey just a little bit easier.”

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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.”

MNN Releases 2019 Public Policy Agenda

Today MNN released its 2019 Public Policy Agenda that outlines the organization’s policy and advocacy priorities for the year. The agenda focuses on the following three goals important to the entire nonprofit sector:

1. Helping the people served by nonprofits.

Specifically, MNN supports: ensuring a complete count for the 2020 Census; reducing and eliminating “cliff effects,” which can force people served by nonprofits to choose between income growth and the loss of vital services; and expanding nonpartisan efforts to promote democracy, civic participation, and voting.

2. Strengthening nonprofits’ ability to serve people and communities.

Specifically, MNN supports: matching reporting requirements to the size of nonprofits, including the elimination of duplicative requirements placed upon small nonprofits; improving state policies that affect nonprofits as employers, including the new paid family leave policy and the employer medical assistance contribution; and enhancing the sustainability of state funding through long-term funding continuity and full and timely payment for services, including indirect and administrative costs.

3. Ensuring fair tax policy and supporting accountability.

Specifically, MNN supports: protecting the nonprofit tax-exempt status and educating decision-makers on the community benefits that nonprofits provide; improving the federal charitable tax deduction and re-establishing the state charitable deduction; and preserving the integrity of the sector by promoting best practices for nonprofit fiscal management.

To read the full 2019 Public Policy Agenda, click here.

MNN thanks its members for their expertise and support. MNN looks forward to continuing to represent the sector to decision makers at all levels of government, working collaboratively with its members and the broader nonprofit community.