CalNonprofits convention photo
CalNonprofits is...
...a statewide alliance of over 10,000 organizations that brings nonprofits together to advocate for the communities we serve.
Photo at annual convention 2015
Be a member...
…to increase our collective voice in Sacramento and benefit from exclusive and discounted goods and services, including insurance just for nonprofits.

Latest News for Nonprofits

Read CalNonprofits Annual Report to learn what we're doing for the nonprofit ecosystem in California and our communities

We won’t sugarcoat it: 2017 was a turbulent year for many California nonprofits and the communities we work in. We’re proud to share how the California nonprofit community responded in our 2017 annual report: “Strengthening the Ecosystem for Nonprofits in California.” It's a fast, easy read: take a look here.

Read more about the issues our community mobilized and advocated on. Where did we succeed? Where did we fail? What might come back that we need to look out for? What are our opportunities in 2018?

Hundreds of you reading this participated in our work this last year -- whether signing onto a support or oppose letter, going with us to a hearing, attending a Nonprofit Town Hall, by being part of the Nonprofit Overhead Project or the Nonprofit Student Debt Project, and more. We know our collective advocacy, education, and mobilization work is improving the economic and regulatory climate for nonprofits, but we also know there’s more work to be done. As you read the Annual Report for 2017, think about what we can do better in 2018.

If your organization is a CalNonprofits member, your hard copy of the annual report is on its way to your office. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to working together with you in 2018. If you’re not yet a member and want to learn more about the benefits of joining, please email Christina Dragonetti and she can share a quick overview of our member benefits.

And as always, let me know your comments and questions about the Annual Report-- or anything else!


Jan Masaoka,
CEO, California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits)
California is being hurt by new federal policies: the new tax law, the federal budget, threats to withhold federal funding to California, the proposed cuts to MediCal, and the undoing of coastline protections (just to name a few).

As part of our campaign Nonprofits Standing Up for California Communities, CalNonprofits is on the steering committee of a collaboration working to close a long-standing corporate tax loophole, and as a result, bring more than $11 billion per year to California -- for education, for social services, and for basic local services such as water systems and trauma centers. These funds will stay local -- within the counties where they are collected.

What is this loophole, anyway?
When we Californians enacted Proposition 13 to stabilize property taxes for homeowners, we unintentionally created a boondoggle for corporations. Older companies (like those having held property for 40 years) -- are paying as a little as one tenth the property taxes of newer companies. The Schools and Communities First (SCF) ballot measure initiative will level the playing field among companies, so that old and new companies will pay comparable rates. Doing so will also eliminate the incentive for companies to create complicated shell corporations to benefit from the loophole.

Wait a minute . . .will the property taxes of homeowners be affected?
No. Repeat: No. Not one bit.

So what will Schools and Communities First actually do?
First, this initiative needs to gather enough signatures to be placed on the ballot for the 2020 election. After we get SCF on the ballot, we will need to get out the vote for it to win. If passed, the Schools and Communities Funding Act will normalize property taxes for large corporations. Corporate real estate will be taxed at its fair market rate -- regardless of whether it was bought this year or 40 years ago. By eliminating the huge and illogical disparities among what corporations pay, we will stop penalizing new companies and at the same time, increase funding to California counties. (And, small business owners are also protected because their properties aren't reassessed until after they sell them).

What's the nonprofit angle?
The California nonprofit community is an important partner with counties. Most of our contracts to provide healthcare, mental health, environmental restoration, K-14 educational supports, and family services are with county governments. And as nonprofits, every day we see how local governments are forced to pay low teacher salaries, cut trauma clinics, and allow blight and toxics to go unaddressed. Every day we see the impacts of under-funding services. Standing up for communities includes standing up for the services and institutions that communities of all types rely on. Now, more than ever, we nonprofits must look beyond the next foundation grant proposal to large-scale, permanent changes in our tax structure to support the work we do.

So how do we get this on the ballot?

There are three important ways to help bring $11 billion per year to California schools and communities:

1) Get, sign, and share free petitions: Make sure you sign one, and ask your friends and family to sign too. Sign up with the campaign here, and use this website to find out where to pick up petitions.

2) Endorse the campaign: You can add your name either as an individual or as a nonprofit organization.

3) Tell everyone you know about Schools and Communities First. On your personal Facebook page, on your organization's Facebook page, through NextDoor, on LinkedIn, on the church bulletin board. Consider gathering signatures at local community events, or in your waiting room. Visit the the Schools and Communities First campaign website to learn more, and then follow it on Facebook and Twitter so you can see and share updates from the campaign.

If you have questions, please contact Nancy Berlin, CalNonprofits Policy Director.

Foundations need feedback loops, and nonprofit need tips on grantseeking. In other words, we all need to succeed. And you can help with 7 minutes of your time.

As a crowd-sourced website, GrantAdvisor simply needs the crowd (this means you!)

Nonprofit staff and fundraising professionals like you who are willing to share your perspectives will increase funder transparency and you get to learn from your peers how (and if) to approach specific funders.

Twenty-five foundations in California already have reviews on GrantAdvisor (though you can write a review of any funder in the U.S.) Foundations are rated on four measures (overall relationship with the funder, how many hours does the grant application take, accessibility, and how successful the funder is at accomplishing its philanthropic goals), and reviewers also share experiences and opinions about foundations they’ve worked with.

Here’s a few examples:

  • “The program officers are very responsive, feel free to contact them with questions. Also do your research, this funder is VERY specific (and somewhat unusual) with what they fund.”-from review of the Bothin Foundation
  • “They can be a great partner. They get nonprofits and the need for core support. Their funding priorities, while prioritizing health, understand the connection of health issues and other areas -- poverty, safety net, criminal justice, etc.” -from review of the California Wellness Foundation
  • “Very fancy place and full of itself. They seem super generous if you match what they want to do, but they can take you on a long ride that is a lot of work and then give you nothing.” -from review of Tipping Point Community

Here's how to help 

Nonprofits: Over 100 California foundations have one or more review on the site. However, a foundation’s profile and reviews aren’t published until they get at least 5 reviews. This ensures foundation profiles show a more complete picture of the funder, based on multiple reviews. But, this high standard also means that we need more reviews to make the website useful for our community. Right now, only 25 California foundation profiles are live on GrantAdvisor – help us double that number in the next three months!

Nonprofit grantees and fundraisers: Take 7 minutes this week to write a review (or two or three), and read reviews of funders on your list.

Foundations: Consider using one of these four easy ways to encourage your grantees to write a review about your foundation on GrantAdvisor. It’s a quick way to get feedback about your policies and practices, and a great tool for your board, even if you already have a more formal feedback system in place. We're pleased that the Irvine Foundation and the Peery Foundation -- just to name two -- proactively encourage all grantees to write reviews of them. This not only gives them more feedback, but also makes a strong point about their commitment to seeing nonprofits as partners.

Writing a review is a short and anonymous process, plus you’ll feel good knowing your insights are contributing to a cause bigger than yourself: transparency in philanthropy. And, if you write a review about one of the 17 foundations below, your review could be the one that that gets it published!

These 4 California foundations only need 1 or 2 more reviews and their profile will go live on GrantAdvisor: 
  • Leo M Shortino Foundation 
  • Richmond Community Foundation
  • Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund
  • Union Bank Foundation
These 13 California foundations already have 2 reviews and with only 3 more, their profiles will go live:
  • Atkinson Foundation
  • Cisco Systems Foundation
  • Draper Richards Foundation
  • Fund for Nonviolence
  • John Gogian Family Foundation
  • Kalliopeia Foundation
  • Marin Community Foundation
  • Mental Insight Foundation
  • Palo Alto Community Fund
  • Rancho Sante Fe Foundation
  • Sam Mazza Foundation
  • United Way of the Bay Area
  • Westly Foundation
GrantAdvisor is a collaborative effort of the California Association of Nonprofits, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, and GreatNonprofits. It is also an experiment! So, we’d especially love to hear your feedback on GrantAdvisor (or any other CalNonprofit initiatives), and we appreciate your time and perspectives.
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How powerful is California’s nonprofit sector today? CalNonprofits commissioned this first-ever report to find out!
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Webinar: Insurance 101 for Nonprofits
Join Colleen Lazanich for an in informative, 1 hour webinar covering the basics of insurance for nonprofits, along with tips to help save money in selecting your coverages.
Tuesday April 24th
Register here
Ventura: Nonprofit Seminar
Nancy Berlin will present: "Where do Grassroots Nonprofits Get Money?" There will also be presentations by representatives from the CA Franchise Tax Board and Attorney General's office. This event is sponsored by Assemblymember Monique Limón, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector
Thursday April 26th
Register here
Philadelphia: The Hive at Spring Point
Jan Masaoka will provide a board development training
Thursday April 26th
Santa Barbara: Nonprofit Seminar
Nancy Berlin will present: "Where do Grassroots Nonprofits Get Money?" There will also be presentations by representatives from the CA Franchise Tax Board and Attorney General's office. This event is sponsored by Assemblymember Monique Limón, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector
Friday, April 27th
Register here
Santa Clara: Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits: Funding Your Impact Summit
Jan Masaoka is a panelist for the plenary session: Engage, Retain or Lose - New Realities in Donor Engagement in a Post-Tax Cut World
Thursday May 10th
Register here
Redding Town Hall
Join Jan Masaoka and Nancy Berlin for an intimate opportunity to discuss legislation impacting nonprofits and to hear from local leaders. This event is co-sponsored by Northern Valley Catholic Social Services.
Monday, May 21st
Click here for more information
Sacramento: California Nonprofits Day
Wednesday June 6th
Each year, about 100 nonprofits from around the state are honored in Sacramento by their elected officials during CA Nonprofits Day.
See pictures from last year's Nonprofits Day
Fullerton: Gianneschi 2017 Summer School for Nonprofits Conference
Jan Masaoka will be speaking
Tuesday August 14th
Check back for more info soon
Fresno Town Hall
Join Jan Masaoka and Nancy Berlin for an intimate opportunity to discuss legislation impacting nonprofits and to hear from local leaders. This event is co-sponsored by Central Valley Community Foundation, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, California Valley Chapter, and Fresno State Humanics Department
Thursday, August 30th
Click here for more information
Los Angeles: CalNonprofits Annual Convention
Thursday, October 18th, Los Angeles
Join with 300 nonprofit leaders, funders, and supporters.
For more information, visit our conference page 

Stay informed on nonprofits news in California. We'll send you information about events and webinars, tips & tools, and legislation impacting the nonprofit community.