Latest News for Nonprofits

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Thursday, February 22
Free for members; $15 not-yet-members

How to Start a California Nonprofit
Looking to make change in your community? Have a great idea for doing good and helping others? We applaud that activist spirit and want to help you consider your first steps toward realizing your vision.

Join Geoff Green, CEO of CalNonprofits, for this comprehensive webinar designed to help you navigate the nonprofit landscape. A veteran changemaker in the nonprofit sector, Geoff will offer actionable insights and proven strategies to turn your nonprofit dream into a reality. Register now!


Thursday, March 7th

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CA Policy Forum

Get Out the Vote: A Playbook for Nonprofits & Funders
State policy plays a powerful role in shaping the opportunities and challenges facing our communities, yet not everyone’s voice is heard at the ballot box. How can nonprofits and foundations help overcome barriers to civic engagement and mobilize every Californian to vote for a more vibrant future?

Explore the issue with experts from the CA Black Power Network, Engage San Diego, Nonprofit Vote and AltaMed at this next presentation from The Policy Forum.

Fairer overhead rates continue to be an urgent and crucial matter for nonprofits with government contracts and/or foundation grants. Although two of the bills CalNonprofits, along with the CA Nonprofit Contracting Coalition, brought to the legislature this year were overhead related, neither one got to the finish line.

So it's tremendously heartening to see that under the Biden Administration, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is proposing changes that – if adopted – will help nonprofits immensely. Right now the office is accepting comments from the public by December 4.

Call to action: Let the US Office of Management & Budget (OMB) know you support their proposed change to a 15% minimum overhead rate for government grants with nonprofits that involve federal dollars! Here is the complete text and instructions on where to send comments.

Key provisions:

  • Increases the minimum/default overhead rate from 10% to 15%
  • Increases the threshold for requiring a Single Audit from $750,000 to $1 million
  • Indexes the Single Audit threshold to the cost of living
  • A state or local agency making grants using federal funds cannot browbeat or pressure nonprofits to accept lower indirect direct rates. And nonprofits will be able to complain directly to OMB (currently nonprofits can only complain to the local agency).
  • By clarifying terms and simplifying categories, OMB is demonstrating marked progress towards the goal of "plain language"

OMB is calling this a "fundamental rewrite" of the Uniform Grants Guidance. Unfortunately, overhead rates can still be under 15% if such rates are written into the legislation, as they are with HeadStart, VISTA, and some other programs. Still, these are substantial and meaningful improvements that will allow nonprofits to work more efficiently and effectively, and reduce administrative headaches a bit.

These proposals are another sign that the movement is growing for fairer, more reasonable funding practices between governments and nonprofits. Stay tuned for whether these proposals are adopted, and for next steps by the Nonprofit Contracting Coalition.

Thank you to Portland-based finance consultant Kay Sohl for assistance on this article.

Equity Initiative - Newsom signs AB590

Responding to unanimous support from the Legislature and from nonprofit, philanthropic, and business leaders from all over California, Governor Newsom signed AB 590 into law – paving the way to advance payments for nonprofits with state grants and contracts.

As you most likely know, the California Nonprofit Contracting Coalition brought a package of seven bills this year to the Legislature as the California Nonprofit Equity Initiative. More than 550 nonprofit, philanthropic, and community leaders signed on to support the bills, which sought various improvements to how state government contracts with nonprofits.

AB 590, authored by Assemblymember Gregg Hart (D-Santa Barbara), was a priority because it strongly impacts the access and ability of nonprofits to partner with the state or successfully pursue grant funding. What on its face may look like a minor technical change, authorizing advance payments to nonprofits signing government contracts is a major equity advancement! With upfront funds, nonprofits won’t be forced to float significant expenses until reimbursed or to take on high interest loans to get new programs going. With that barrier lifted, AB 590 will enable more nonprofits – particularly those in rural, poor, and people-of-color communities – to partner with state government.

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