CalNonprofits Articles

The burdens placed on nonprofits by government contracting practices and the challenges of recruiting and retaining quality employees were two pressing issues shared by the nonprofit leaders who spoke at an informational hearing with state legislators in Sacramento. Held Feb. 17, it was the first-ever joint hearing of the state Assembly and Senate Select Committees on the Nonprofit Sector.

CalNonprofits worked closely with Assemblymember Luz Rivas (AD 39) and Senator Monique Limón (SD 19) who chair the Assembly and Senate select committees, respectively, and their staff, to identify the esteemed panel of speakers. We are thankful for the leadership of these two legislators in bringing this historic meeting together and for the speakers who took the time to share their insights. They included:

  • Maricela Morales, Executive Director, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) and Board Chair, CalNonprofits
  • Carmen Padilla, Chief of Staff, El Concilio of Stockton
  • Karen Delaney, Executive Director, Santa Cruz Volunteer Center
  • Janet Marinaccio, CEO, MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity)
  • Jan Masaoka, CEO, CalNonprofits
  • Julie Baker, Executive Director, Californians for the Arts and CA Arts Advocates
  • Jennifer Hark-Dietz, CEO, PATH (People Assisting the Homeless)
  • Dr. Le Ondra Clark Harvey, CEO, CA Council of Behavioral Health Agencies

The eight panelists, including CalNonprofits CEO Jan Masaoka and Board Chair Maricela Morales, spoke with passion and urgency about the strengths and importance of the sector as well as critical issues that inhibit nonprofits’ ability to best address the needs of the communities they serve. 

Read the Key Themes & Policy Recommendations resulting from the hearing.

Several speakers called attention to the ongoing issue of government contracting with nonprofits, pointing out the failure of contracts to keep up with the real cost of delivering services. And significant delays in reimbursements can force organizations to go into debt to cover upfront costs.

Chair Rivas recognized the repeated frustration around contracts, saying government contracts need to “reflect the real cost of delivering these services.”

Chair Limón highlighted how nonprofits have stepped up time and time again, especially during the pandemic, to serve California communities; she emphasized that “nonprofits shouldn’t have to go into debt because the state is delaying payments.”

CalNonprofits CEO Jan Masaoka shared data with legislators about the role the sector plays as a key economic driver in the state. Nonprofits, for example, are responsible for bringing in about $40 billion from out-of-state sources each year. “Supporting nonprofits supports all Californians,” Masaoka said.

The hearing can be viewed in its entirety here.

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