Commonwealth Insights 2018

MNN’s Commonwealth Insights publications highlight policy, issues, and trends important to the nonprofit sector. In each edition, we’ll feature data and stories that illustrate the full depth and breadth of the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts.

2018 Third Edition

Click the image to view the report.

Click the image to view the report.

Strategies to Make the Most of Year-End Fundraising

The giving landscape is different in 2018 than it was in previous years. Last year’s federal tax law has changed the landscape for many individual donors. The changes are mixed- some negative and some positive- depending on the donor and fundraising plan of each nonprofit.

The third edition of Commonwealth Insights outlines recent tax law changes affecting donors, and shows nonprofits how to respond to them with strategies to make the most of 2018 year-end fundraising.

These strategies include:

  • Increasing outreach to mid-level donors
  • Promoting Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) to Donors Age 70.5 and Up
  • Encouraging Accelerated Giving
  • Considering Soliciting Non-Cash Donations
  • Fundraising from Business Partners

We are confident that the fundraising strategies explored in this edition of Commonwealth Insights will help nonprofits secure additional financial support and increase their ability to do the work that is essential to the Commonwealth.

2018 Second Edition

Everyone Counts: The Importance of the 2020 Census to Massachusetts Nonprofits


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The impact of the decennial Census is immense in Massachusetts: Census data determine political representation and the allocation of federal funds for social programs, including more than $16 billion for Massachusetts. The Commonwealth could lose $2,372 of federal funding per year for each person not counted. In addition, new challenges are emerging for the 2020 Census which will make collaborations and cross-sector partnerships especially important – including in Massachusetts.

In our second edition of Commonwealth Insights for 2018, we invite four experts to share their insights on why the Census 2020 is so important, what is at stake for Massachusetts, and the role nonprofits can play in ensuring an accurate Census count.

Key points include:

  • Census data drives the distribution of over $16 billion to Massachusetts and $600 billion nationwide for critical services, as well as the allocation of political representation
  • The 2020 Census will present unprecedented challenges including the first all-digital census, a potential citizenship question, and ongoing funding challenges.
  • The nonprofit sector has a key role to play in ensuring a fair and accurate count.

2018 First Edition

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Click the image to view the report.

In our first edition of Commonwealth Insights for 2018, we build upon our public policy analysis of the new tax law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and examined the specific organizational and fundraising implications of the new tax law. The report also gives nonprofits strategies for how to prepare proactively for the changes ahead.CI-2018-1stEdition-draft14-final2-min

Key Points include:

  • Tax reform will have significant impacts on nonprofits.
  • The doubling of the standard deduction will increase the cost of donations for middle-income donors, threatening a drop in their giving.
  • Tax reform presents an opportunity for nonprofits to engage more deeply on public policy issues affecting the sector.
  • Tax reform should also spur nonprofits to strengthen their fundraising practices.