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.

New Report: Nonprofit Fundraising Strategies to Soften the Blow of Federal Tax Reform

Today the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) released its latest edition of Commonwealth Insights, “Strategies to Make the Most of Year-End Fundraising.”

“We are confident that integrating these fundraising strategies will help nonprofits secure financial support and increase their ability to do the work that is essential to the Commonwealth,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN.

The report details five fundraising strategies for nonprofits to integrate into their year-end fundraising starting this year to increase support for their important missions:

  • Increasing outreach to mid-level donors;
  • Promoting Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) to donors age 70 ½ and up;
  • Encouraging accelerated giving;
  • Soliciting non-cash donations;
  • Fundraising from business partners.

The report is released at a time where the landscape of nonprofit giving is rapidly changing. MNN reported in detail on the changes from the 2017 federal tax overhaul that affect middle-income donors. Of particular concern is the doubling of the standard deduction that will lower the amount of middle-income donors itemizing their contributions by raising their cost of giving by an average of 28%.

MNN estimates that these changes could potentially put as much as $513 million in charitable contributions at risk every year in Massachusetts.

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About Commonwealth Insights
Commonwealth Insights publications highlight policy, issues, and trends important to the nonprofit sector published by MNN. This is the third edition of Commonwealth Insights in 2018. Earlier editions focused on 2020 Census, federal tax reform, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Prior editions can be viewed at www.massnonprofitnet.org/CommonwealthInsights. The work of MNN, including the Commonwealth Insights series, is supported by its organizational sustainers: the Barr Foundation, the Boston Foundation, and the Highland Street Foundation.

650 Nonprofit Workers Learn, Network, Inspire, and Impact that MNN’s Annual Conference

FRAMINGHAM, MA. Yesterday, over 650 nonprofit and business leaders attended the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN)’s annual conference, Learn, Network, Inspire, Impact. The conference provided a space for nonprofit leaders to learn in workshops and network with their peers, featured a keynote panel discussion on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the nonprofit sector, and honored Carol Duncan and Hubie Jones with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

“The work you do, and your overarching commitment to the common good, is exactly what our country needs more of,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN, to conference guests in his opening remarks.

The conference opened with a keynote panel discussion moderated by Michelle Hantman, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater New Bedford, and featuring Carol Fulp, President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., Elaine Ng, CEO of TSNE MissionWorks, and Deborah Re, President and CEO of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.

The panel discussed diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Massachusetts nonprofit sector. In particular, they focused their discussion on the recent demographic shifts within the sector, and the potential for millennial professionals in addition to cross-sector partnerships to build more inclusive and representative nonprofits.

“I’m learning a lot from the millennials about starting discussions on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Deborah Re. “As someone who leads an organization that serves 91% people of color, building a culture that promotes diversity in the workplace is my moral imperative.”

“During this pivotal demographic shift, it’s essential that nonprofits and businesses partner together on rebuilding workplace cultures,” said Carol Fulp.

The panelists also noted that although progress had been made in recent years, more work is needed to build a truly inclusive and representative nonprofit sector in the state.

“Equity is about changing leadership structures, and that’s the challenge,” said Elaine Ng. “The heavy lift is how you leverage different backgrounds and experiences.”

MNN also presented its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards to Carol Duncan, former executive director of Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, and Hubie Jones, Social Justice Entrepreneur-in-Residence at City Year and Dean Emeritus of the Boston University School of Social Work. Duncan and Jones were honored for their impact on the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts and their improvement of communities across the state.

A fixture in the Lowell community for her extensive service at nonprofits, Duncan recounted the story of a former client of Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell in her acceptance remarks. Her story of a girl in need that she served who is now pursuing a college degree highlighted a motivation that drives many people to work for nonprofits.

“Our work had an impact in this woman’s life, and I really believe this woman’s story will have a happy ending. That’s what nonprofits live for,” said Duncan.

Jones, a Boston area social justice icon with a storied career that includes founding and leading over 30 nonprofit organizations, concluded the speaking program with a sage perspective on his life largely spent fighting for social, economic, racial, and educational justice for Boston residents.

“Service is the rent that we pay for living. That’s what I do: I pay my rent,” said Jones. “I urge you all to do the same.”

The conference also featured almost 50 business exhibitors focused on serving nonprofits. Held every year since the organization’s founding in 2007, MNN’s conference is one of the largest events dedicated to building nonprofit capacity in Massachusetts.

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Carol Duncan, Hubie Jones will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards

LAA winners combined-minMNN announced today that Carol Duncan, former Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, and Hubie Jones, Social Justice Entrepreneur-in-Residence at City Year and Dean Emeritus of the Boston University School of Social Work, will be the recipients of the organization’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards will be presented at MNN’s annual conference on Wednesday, October 10 at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center.
 
“We are thrilled to honor Carol and Hubie for their years of distinguished service as members of the Massachusetts nonprofit sector,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Their dedication to serving others, to strengthening their communities, and to making Massachusetts a better place for all to live will have lasting impacts.”
 
“It is truly a great honor for me to have been chosen by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network for a Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Carol Duncan. “My time as Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell and my service in retirement on various boards and advisory boards focusing on youth, education, and the arts has been very rewarding for me.”
 
“Founding and building nonprofit service ‎institutions has been the joy of my life. Through this work, I have helped to build stronger social fabrics in communities and save lives,” said Hubie Jones. “It just doesn’t get better than that.”
 
Every year, MNN honors outstanding nonprofit leaders who have positively impacted the nonprofit sector. Past Lifetime Achievement Award winners include Tim Garvin, Paul Grogan, Beth Smith, Joan Wallace-Benjamin, and the Rev. Gloria White-Hammond.
 
Carol Duncan
 
Carol Duncan is being honored for her extensive service to the Greater Lowell community in her roles at nonprofits, on boards of directors, and as an experienced educator. Carol served as Executive Director of Girls Inc. from 1991 to 2013, where she put her passion for serving young women into leading an organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. In her tenure, Carol oversaw a $400,000 renovation to the organization’s office to expand program capacity, and significantly elevated its public profile, receiving the national Girls Inc.’s Outstanding Affiliate Award two years in a row.
 
Carol has received numerous honors for her outstanding service. In 2014, she was honored at the Celebration of Today’s Women event at Girls Inc. She was featured in the Lowell Sun Salute to Women Project in 2012 and the YWCA of Greater Lawrence Tribute to Women in 2011. Carol was an honoree at the First Annual ATHENA Award Program in 2002 and has received community service awards from Lowell-based Community Teamwork, Inc. in 1995 and from the American Textile History Museum in 2008.
 
Carol remains active on numerous boards of nonprofits in her retirement, including at Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm, the Whistley House Museum of Art, the Patient Care Board at Lowell General Hospital, and the advisory board of the Angkor Dance Troupe.
 
Hubie Jones
 
Hubie Jones is being honored for his contributions to the social justice movement in Boston, where he has held numerous positions in academia, founded several nonprofits, served on multiple nonprofit boards, and played a leadership role in the social development of the city and its people.
 
Hubie is Dean Emeritus of the Boston University School of Social Work, where he previously served as Professor and Dean. Before joining the faculty at Boston University, Hubie was Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Urban Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was acting president of Roxbury Community College.
 
Hubie has played a key role in the formation, rebuilding, and leadership of at least 30 community organizations within the black community and across the city. In 20 of these organizations, he served as chairman of the board or executive director. His leadership roles include executive director of the Roxbury Multi-Service Center, board chairman of the Massachusetts Advocates for Children, and board president of Roxbury Youthworks, the Roxbury Community College Foundation, and the Citywide Educational Coalition.
 
Hubie Founded Higher Ground, Inc., modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone. Since 2002, he has been founder and president of the Boston Children’s Chorus.

Expert Panel to Examine Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Massachusetts Nonprofit Sector

BOSTON, MA – The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) announced that an expert panel featuring top nonprofit leaders will address the topic of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the Massachusetts nonprofit sector at the organization’s Annual Conference on October 10, 2018 at the Sheraton Framingham.

 

The Conference’s keynote panel will be moderated by Michelle Neves Hantman, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater New Bedford. The panelists are Carol Fulp, President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., Elaine Ng, CEO of TSNE MissionWorks, and Deborah Re, President and CEO of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.

 

“We are thrilled to have Michelle, Carol, Elaine, and Deborah on our keynote panel this year,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Their skills, experience, and savvy will produce a great discussion at the Conference.”

 

Promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion has been identified as a key area of growth by many in the state’s nonprofit sector. In a 2018 survey of Massachusetts nonprofit professionals commissioned by The Boston Foundation and carried out by Building Movement Project, 33% of the respondents of color who work at nonprofits indicated that they felt their race had impacted their career advancement “very or slightly negatively.”

 

Every year, the MNN holds its annual conference for nonprofit organizations across Massachusetts. In addition to the keynote panel, MNN will present two nonprofit sector leaders with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The conference is expected to draw over 600 attendees from Massachusetts nonprofits and for-profit companies that serve nonprofits. The conference is one of the largest gatherings of nonprofit professionals in Massachusetts.

 

About the Panelists

 

Michelle Neves Hantman is the President and CEO of the United Way of Greater New Bedford, an organization that fights for the health, education, and financial stability of the Greater New Bedford community. Michelle currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the New Bedford Whaling Museum Board of Trustees, the UMass Dartmouth Leduc Center for Civic Engagement Advisory Board, and the South Coast Regional Network to End Homelessness Leadership Council.

 

Carol Fulp is the President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., an organization whose mission is to enhance the competitiveness of the region by attracting, developing, retaining, and convening multicultural professionals. Carol serves on the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board and as a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

 

Elaine Ng is the CEO of TSNE MissionWorks, an organization dedicated to building the knowledge, power, and effectiveness of individuals, organizations, and groups that engage people in community and public life. In addition to serving as a Barr Fellow, Elaine has served on numerous boards and committees including the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the BPS School Quality Working Group, and the Chinatown Land Trust.

 

Deborah Re is the President and CEO of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, an organization that ignites girls’ passion and power to succeed through positive mentoring relationships with women and enrichment programs that support girls’ healthy development. She serves on the Advisory Board for the West End House Boys and Girls Club, the Selection Advisory Council of the Greenlight Fund, and serves as co-chair of Mass Mentoring Partnership’s Leadership Council.

MNN Opposes Plan to Tax Massachusetts Colleges and Universities: “It’s Bad for Massachusetts”

BOSTON, MA – Today the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) declared its opposition to a proposal to levy a tax on the endowments of colleges and universities in Massachusetts.

“It’s a bad idea–for Massachusetts, and for everyone served by nonprofits in Massachusetts,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN.

Nonprofits are a critical economic engine for Massachusetts, providing 550,000 jobs and employing over 17% of the state’s workforce. The state’s more than 33,000 nonprofits are cornerstones of Massachusetts communities. The nonprofit sector enriches neighborhoods and provides vital services to the state’s most vulnerable residents.

From scholarships to local students, to free and subsidized health care, to a wide array of environmental, artistic, historic, and cultural programs, Massachusetts nonprofits make immense contributions that benefit residents and government alike. In addition to delivering vital services, they provide hundreds of millions of dollars of community benefits each year.

In addition to their economic contributions to the Commonwealth, nonprofits are mission driven organizations. They contribute to the public good, provide services that government would have to provide absent the nonprofit, and re-invest any revenue surplus back into their budgets to further their mission. As such, nonprofits are treated differently under federal and state laws, including receiving tax-exempt status.

Nonprofits are already bracing for the negative impact of the recently passed federal tax reform legislation. According to a 2017 MNN report, the doubling of the standard deduction will make it more expensive for middle-income donors to give to nonprofits, and could potentially result in a decline in giving in Massachusetts by as much as $513 million beginning next year.

MNN Statement on “The Grand Bargain”

BOSTON (June 21, 2018) – Today, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) released the following statement on “The Grand Bargain,” the legislative compromise on the paid family leave, sales tax, and minimum wage ballot questions:

“After months of negotiations, yesterday the Massachusetts House and Senate passed ‘the grand bargain,’ a legislative compromise addressing the paid family leave, sales tax, and minimum wage ballot questions. In addition, earlier this week the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck down the millionaire’s tax so that question will not appear on the ballot this fall.”

“MNN thanks everyone who reached out to us with their input on these issues. It was clear from our regional meetings that they affect nonprofits in a number of ways.”

“The legislative compromise is now before the Governor for his signature. The proponents of the sales tax ballot question are pleased with the compromise. and have indicated they will not go forward with their question. Should the proponents of the minimum wage and paid family leave questions decide to pull their questions from the ballot (they have endorsed the legislative compromise on the paid family leave but have not yet made a statement on the minimum wage compromise) then none of the four ballot questions MNN has been following closely and engaging on will be on the ballot in November. They must decide soon; July 3 is the deadline for the final round of signatures to put a question on the ballot.”

“Overall, we are pleased with the legislative compromise reached on the paid family leave, sales tax, and minimum wage ballot questions. While the costs associated with paid family leave and minimum wage will be an adjustment for many nonprofits, the compromise will allow the costs to be further spread out and will make them easier to plan for. Keeping the sales tax at its current rate is critical for the state budget and will help ensure that vital programs in communities throughout the Commonwealth are sustained. The spirit of collaboration, on exhibit during these negotiations, is at the core of our sector. The session is not yet over so we will continue to work and engage on any public policy issues that impact our sector.”

MNN Welcomes New Board Members, Officers

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BOSTON (June 18, 2018)- The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) is pleased to announce that six individuals have been elected by its nonprofit membership to the MNN Board of Directors. There are five new board members:

  • Anna Cross, Executive Director, MetroWest Nonprofit Network, Metrowest Regional Seat
  • Yi-Chin Chen, Executive Director, Friends of the Children-Boston, Youth & Education Subsector Seat
  • Stephanie Guidry, Program Officer, The Boston Foundation, At-Large Seat
  • Alex McCray, Senior Director of Programs, Associated Grant Makers, Philanthropy Subsector Seat
  • Elizabeth S. Reinhardt, Law Offices of Elizabeth S. Reinhardt, At-Large Seat

In addition, Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative, has been re-elected to a second term on the Board filling the Arts & Culture Subsector Seat.

“On behalf of MNN’s Board of Directors, I extend a big welcome to our five new members and one re-elected member,” said Jim Ayres, Chair of the MNN Board and President & CEO of the United Way of Pioneer Valley. “They are important leaders in their communities, and they will all bring invaluable experiences and perspectives to the organization.”

“We’re fortunate to have these six distinguished professionals on the MNN Board. They are pillars of their communities, and longtime advocates for nonprofits across the Commonwealth.” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN.

The five new members and one re-elected member join a Board headed by Ayres and a slate of new officers who were elected earlier this year. Robert Gittens, Executive Director of Cambridge Family and Children’s Services, was elected Vice Chair. Jacquie Anderson, Chief Operating Officer of Centering Healthcare Institute, was elected Treasurer. Elizabeth Cannon, Executive Director of the Lowell Association of the Blind, was elected Clerk.

The board members were elected at MNN’s Annual Meeting, which was held during the Nonprofit Awareness Day ceremony on June 4, 2018, 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 subsectors, and all regions of Massachusetts, plus at-large members to ensure that the organization is representative of the entire nonprofit sector.

PRESS RELEASE: 2018 Nonprofit Awareness Day

BOSTON (June 5, 2018)- Yesterday, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta joined hundreds of nonprofit and business leaders at the State House to celebrate Nonprofit Awareness Day, a statewide holiday honoring the contributions of nonprofits in Massachusetts. The celebration was hosted by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) and presented by Citizens Bank.

 

“The 33,000+ nonprofits in Massachusetts that employ a sixth of our state’s workforce are essential to the health and vitality of our Commonwealth,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “Yesterday we recognized 27 nonprofits and leaders that typify the excellence of our sector. We are grateful for Citizen Bank’s generous and continued support of our 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.”

 

During Nonprofit Awareness Day, Nonprofit Excellence Awards are presented to four organizations and two professionals that exemplify the innovative and effective work of nonprofits across Massachusetts. The winners are nominated by peers and community members and selected by an independent panel of nonprofit and business leaders. This year, MNN received over 150 Nonprofit Excellence Award nominations.

 

The Nonprofit Excellence Award winners this year are:
  • Excellence in Advocacy – Language Opportunity Coalition
  • Excellence in Collaboration – Cardinal Cushing Centers
  • Excellence in Innovation – College Bound Dorchester
  • Excellence in Leadership – Andrea Genser, Executive Director, Women’s Empowerment through Cape Area Networking (WE CAN)
  • Excellence by a Small Nonprofit – Berkshire Immigrant Center
  • Excellence by a Young Professional – Sandra Lee, Director of Youth Education, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

 

In the month leading up to Nonprofit Awareness Day, MNN’s #MAkingadifference social media campaign engaged hundreds of nonprofit and business leaders, who took to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to communicate the positive impact of nonprofits across the state. Using the hashtag #MAkingadifference, participating organizations shared pictures, stories, and statistics that illustrated the depth and breadth of the state’s nonprofit sector.

 

About the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
Founded in 2007, MNN is the only organization dedicated to supporting the entire Massachusetts nonprofit sector through advocacy, public awareness, and capacity building. MNN has more than 800 nonprofit and affiliate member organizations, representing nonprofits from every region of the state—from the Berkshires to the Cape. To learn more, visit www.massnonprofitnet.org.

 

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $153.5 billion in assets as of March 31, 2018. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens helps its retail customers “bank better” with mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,300 ATMs and approximately 1,200 Citizens Bank branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Citizens also provides wealth management, mortgage lending, auto lending, student lending and commercial banking services in select markets nationwide. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest hedging, leasing and asset finance, specialty finance and trade finance. Citizens operates through its subsidiaries Citizens Bank, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania as Citizens Bank, Citizens Commercial Banking and Citizens One. Additional information about Citizens and its full line of products and services can be found at www.citizensbank.com.

 

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At Special Forum, Mayor Martin J. Walsh Speaks with Nonprofits

© Meri Bond Photography

BOSTON, MA– Yesterday, Mayor Martin J. Walsh addressed a room full of nonprofit leaders, thanking them for their organizations’ contributions to the health and vitality of Boston and highlighting the impact of cross-sector collaborations on the city’s most pressing issues.

In his remarks, Mayor Walsh emphasized building partnerships between the nonprofit, public, and private sectors as a path towards solving some of the city’s most pressing challenges, including homelessness, addiction, affordable housing, and immigrants’ rights.

“We have to use every possible resource we have. When we work together we can be successful. It’s important to build partnerships, and important to do it together,” said Mayor Walsh.

At the event hosted in the Boch Center’s Grand Lobby, Mayor Walsh also spoke about changes over the past two years happening at the federal level, including the tax reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law this past December. “We should push back on this tax reform package, which will likely discourage some charitable donations,” he said.

According to a recently-released Massachusetts Nonprofit Network report, the impact of the tax reform bill could include lower amounts of charitable giving to nonprofits.

“Running a nonprofit has never been easy. But now, facing changes on the federal front, the gaps that you’re being asked to fill are bigger than ever,” said the Mayor. “We will need everyone’s skills and hands to collectively move forward.”

In addition to his prepared remarks, Mayor Walsh responded to questions and comments posed to him by audience members representing numerous nonprofits based in the Boston area.

Mayor Walsh was the latest featured speaker in a series of special forums hosted jointly by the Highland Street Foundation and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. The forums are dedicated to providing fresh perspectives on issues impacting the nonprofit sector.