Non-Profits CAN Lobby! - Overview of IRS lobbying regulations for 501(c)(3) public charities.
New Jersey's Lobby Disclosure Law
Charities and Elections - Read this election-season fact-sheet for information about how New Jersey public charities can safely advance their missions and encourage civic participation.
About NJ's Non-Profit Community
National Council of Nonprofits
Nonprofit Advocacy Matters E-newsletter
|"Watching the Backs of New Jersey Nonprofits"
“For those of us who work in, work for, donate to and are served by nonprofit organizations in New Jersey we are fortunate to have the Center for Non-Profits watching our backs and protecting our independence.”
-- Nina Stack, President, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers
|Don’t Weaken the Existing Ban on Electioneering by 501(c)(3) Organizations|
|At the National Prayer Breakfast on February 2,
2017, President Trump renewed his calls for a repeal of the 1954 Johnson Amendment which bars 501(c)(3) organizations from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The Center for Non-Profits OPPOSES repeal of the Johnson Amendment and supports retaining the current ban.
Read why in our latest blog.
Update - December 11, 2016
On December 9, 2016, Governor Christie announced the release of the remaining $12.8 million in budgeted funds previously frozen under Executive Order 209. This final release includes $5 million for vocational rehabilitation, $2 million for the New Jersey Re-Entry Corporation, and funds for the Elder Care Index, certain higher education programs, and the Legislature, and comes more than 5 months after the Governor's original executive order freezing the funds.
Under the initial EO209, issued June 30, 2016, the Governor had ordered more than $100 million in budgeted funds – roughly $50 million in funding for social programs and $54 million in transitional aid to municipalities – held in reserve until the Legislature and public employee unions could achieve $250 million in savings for public employee and retiree health care costs.
Related articles:October 4 Joint Op Ed from the Center for Non-Profits and Council of New Jersey Grantmakers urging the release of the frozen funds
Salary threshold declared invalid; “white collar duties tests” under existing law remain unaffected
On November 22, 2016, a federal district judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the Overtime Final Rule, ruling that the U.S. Department of Labor exceeded its authority in raising the salary levels below which employees must be eligible for overtime.
Non-profits need to be aware that even under the old salary threshold, employees must still satisfy other criteria, particularly the administrative, executive or professional "duties tests," in order to be exempt from overtime requirements. The recording from the Center's November 9, 2016, webinar about the duties tests is available for Center members.
Property Tax Challenges
Updated October 17, 2016 - Legislation that would help curtail arbitrarily challenges to non-profits' property tax exemptions by limiting the ability of third parties to appeal the property tax exempt status of other entities has been advancing in the New Jersey Legislature. The Center for Non-Profits strongly supports these bills. more information
Updated October 17, 2016 - In June 2015, in a property tax case with significant financial and policy implications for hospitals and possibly the broader non-profit community statewide, a Tax Court of New Jersey judge ruled that Morristown Medical Center is not entitled to tax exemption on nearly all of its property in Morristown. The Governor and legislature have proposed various measures to address the issue. more information
"Is Non-Profit Property Tax Exemption Sound Public Policy?" Presentation slides of Center executive director Linda Czipo to 4/15/2016 Seton Hall University School of Law conference
NJ Charitable Giving Incentive
Trust Fund package negotiated by Governor Christie and Senate and Assembly
Leaders and signed into law October 14, 2016, does not include a New Jersey income tax deduction for contributions to charity.
Blog: Why New Jersey Needs a Charitable Giving Deduction
Non-Profit Trends and Outlook
April 5, 2016 - Rising demand and tight funding continue to challenge the ability of New Jersey non-profits
to provide needed programs and services, according to a new report released by the Center for Non-Profits.
Our deep thanks to all who participated in the survey.
VICTORY! IRS Withdraws Gift Substantiation Proposal
January 7, 2016 - The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it is withdrawing its proposed gift substantiation regulations that would have called for the collection and reporting by charities of donors’ Social Security numbers. As reported in previous communications, the proposed regulations would have given non-profits the option of filing a separate new information return with the IRS and individual donors by February 28 every year to substantiate contributions of more than $250. The proposed rule would have encouraged (but not required) non-profits to collect donors’ Social Security numbers and file a report with the IRS including the Social Security numbers and the amount of the gift.
According to the National Council of Nonprofits, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS received 37,977 comments during the rulemaking period that ended on December 16, 2015, virtually all of them hostile to the proposal (view the Center’s comments here). The Center for Non-Profits also joined with the Council of Nonprofits and other national groups in submitting comments on behalf of the nonprofit community to stress that collection of Social Security numbers would “expose the public to increased risk from identity theft, impose significant costs and burdens on nonprofit organizations, and create public confusion and disincentives for donors to support the work of nonprofits.”
Our deep thanks to the National Council of Nonprofits and other national advocates for leading the charge against this proposal, and especially to all of YOU who commented against it. This significant victory is proof that non-profit advocacy works!
Specific Federal Charitable Giving Incentives Made Permanent
Comprehensive budget and tax legislation signed into law on December 18, 2015, by President Obama includes several important provisions important to charities. As reported by the National Council of Nonprofits:
From the National Council of Nonprofits:
The massive bill addresses numerous policy issues of interest to charitable nonprofits, ranging from funding for mission-related programs to restoring and making permanent three expired incentives for charitable giving. Two bills passed the House as separate measures that were subsequently merged and approved by the Senate as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016. See summaries of spending provisions and of the tax provisions for full details.
Three charitable giving incentives are restored and made permanent in the tax portion of the law, originally titled the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act):
On November 9, 2015, Governor Christie announced that he had conditionally vetoed A-2771 (Fuentes/Johnson)/S-452 (Ruiz/Cruz-Perez), “The New Jersey Social Innovation Act.” As passed by the Legislature, the bill would have piloted a “pay for success” funding model by creating a five-year social innovation loan program within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). more information
September 10, 2015 - An alliance of representing non-profit and provider organizations today asked the Red Tape Review Commission, chaired by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, to assist with developing and implementing reforms to help ease the “stranglehold” of burdensome government contracting procedures that threaten their ability to provide services in their communities.
Represented by the Center for Non-Profits, an umbrella organization serving New Jersey’s charitable community, the organizations endorsed comprehensive recommendations to streamline and improve the rules and procedures by which government contracts for services with non-profit organizations.
The OMB Uniform Guidance: What Non-Profits Should Know
In late December 2014, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published final guidance governing government grants and contracts that means good news for non-profits that receive federal grant funds, either directly or passed through state and local entities. Collective action will help make the promise of these reforms a reality.
|Vendors, including nonprofits, need to register on NJSTART.gov to do business with the State of New Jersey. For more information see the Center's NJSTART page.|
May 15, 2014 - Although some progress has been made in the past several years, the system of contracting between governments and non-profit organizations remains rife with problems that threaten the ability of non-profits to provide services across the country, according to data released by the National Council of Nonprofits and the Urban Institute.
The National Council of Nonprofits report,
Toward Common Sense Contracting: What Taxpayers Deserve, examines the causes and consequences of five recurring problem areas that involve billions of dollars. The report connects new data from the Urban Institute with the experiences of front-line non-profits that are delivering services on behalf of governments at all levels, and then outlines sixteen proven and often readily available solutions to these problems, including many proposed by New Jersey advocates.
Government shutdown affects non-profits
October 8, 2013 - The Executive Director for the Center for Non-Profits spoke with Mike Schneider on New Jersey Today about the impact of the government shutdown on non-profits.
Help END the Overhead Myth!
The Center for Non-Profits and the Council of NJ Grantmakers are joining forces to ask you to support a nationwide campaign to help end the overhead myth - the misguided notion that the percentage of expenses spent on administration and overhead should be the sole criterion for judging the merits of a charity.
Learn more and spread the word!
For older articles and information see the Center's Policy Archive