Older items on policy issues affecting the non-profit community
March 31, 2015 - New Jersey non-profits continued to show incremental improvements in their circumstances compared with one year ago, but rising demand for services and limited funding continue to pose challenges to their ability to provide needed programs and services, according to a
report released by the
Center for Non-Profits.
Our deep thanks to all who participated in the survey.
February 12, 2015 - Legislation to extend key charitable giving incentives on a permanent basis passed the U.S. House of Representatives on February 12, 2015, by a vote of 279-137. more information
On June 11, 2014, on behalf of a coalition of non-profits and provider organizations across the state, the Center for Non-Profits presented
a joint statement and recommendations to a hearing of the
Red Tape Review Commission held at Farleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Guadagno. Advocacy efforts on this issue are ongoing.
On June 27, 2013, Governor Christie signed legislation clarifying that charitable contributions are not a factor in determining where a person is domiciled under the New Jersey gross income tax. The bill is awaiting action by Governor Christie.
New state employment requirements enacted
A "must-read" alert from our friends at the Pro Bono Partnership about four new state laws that will affect non-profit employers. The new statutes cover protection of employees who information requested as part of discrimination claims; unpaid leave for victims of sexual assault or domestic violence; penalties for failure to respond to NJ Department of Labor requests; and access to private social media accounts of employees and job applicants.
Read the article
In June, U.S. Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Chair and Ranking Member respectively of the Senate Finance Committee, issued a joint letter calling for a "blank slate" approach to tax policy, asking their Senate colleagues to submit recommendations regarding tax reform, tax simplification and to justify any recommended tax credits, deductions and "tax expenditures" -- in essence, to make the case for a wide array of tax policies including charitable giving incentives. Senators were asked to submit their recommendations by July 26, 2013.
Read the Center's letter asking Senator Menendez to stand up for charities
March 25, 2013 - New Jersey non-profits reported some modest signs of improvement in their circumstances compared with one year ago, but rising demand for services and flat or uncertain funding streams continue to create a cautious outlook for 2013, according to a report released by the Center for Non-Profits.
Our deep thanks to all who participated in the survey.
Non-profits and governments can reduce their own costs, improve services provided to constituents, and return greater value to taxpayers by creating government-non-profit task forces to develop and implement recommendations to reform contracting practices and procedures. That is the key finding of Partnering for Impact: Government-Nonprofit Contracting Task Forces Produce Results for Taxpayers, a new report of the National Council of Nonprofits.
With Congress failing to reach a deficit reduction agreement by March 1, 2013, across-the-board budget cuts ("sequestration") have begun to take effect. If nothing is done, the cuts will cause significant damage in our communities and will hamper non-profits' ability to provide programs and services that people need. Find out more from the National Council of Nonprofits, and then share your own story.
House Holds Hearing on Charitable Giving Incentives
On February 14, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee held a public hearing to explore "Tax Reform and Charitable Giving." The Committee heard from some 40+ witnesses, many of whom advocated strongly for enhancing incentives for people to give to charity. As Congress continues to explore deficit reduction strategies, this will continue to be a high-profile issue moving forward.
The State of New Jersey has officially launched its New Jersey NonProfit Information Center, the Web portal made possible by legislation enacted in May 2011, sponsored by Senators Buono/Greenstein and Assemblywomen Huttle/Stender and supported by the Center. The Web address for the portal is http://www.state.nj.us/state/nonprofit.html .
We believe this is an important first step in making New Jersey funding opportunities and other information more readily accessible to New Jersey non-profits, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Lieutenant Governor's office as the site evolves. Please bookmark the New Jersey NonProfit Information Center at http://www.state.nj.us/state/nonprofit.html and spread the word!
August 18, 2011 - The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has informed us that it will NOT pursue its “pre-proposal” for a mandatory point-of-solicitation disclosure for non-profits. The pre-proposal would have also required organizations to provide a mechanism for donors to designate the programs to which they wish to direct gifts. Our deep thanks to all who took time to express concerns about this proposal; your advocacy made all the difference! More information
The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has approved regulations that will raise the mandatory audit threshold for charities under the "Charitable Registration and Investigation Act." The amended regulations, published in the February 22, 2011, New Jersey Register, include a provision requested by the Center for Non-Profits that raises the audit threshold from $250,000 in gross revenue to $500,000.
The rule adoption means that any organization with less than $500,000 in gross revenue in its most recently completed fiscal year will no longer have to submit an independent audit in order to satisfy the requirements of New Jersey's fund raising statute. The Center estimates that the new change could save each covered organization an average of $7,000 annually, and will result in an annual combined savings of over $10 million for the non-profit community. more information
The system of contracting between governments (federal, state, county and local) and human service organizations is fraught with problems that have significant social and economic implications across the country, based on an analysis of two national reports released today.
The Urban Institute report, Human Service Nonprofits and Government Collaboration: Findings from the 2010 National Survey of Nonprofit Government Contracting and Grants, provides key national and New Jersey data on contracting practices. It compares state experiences in several areas of importance to individuals in need of services, to taxpayers, and to entire communities.
A second report released by the National Council of Nonprofits, Costs,
Complexification and Crisis: Government’s Human Services Contracting “System” Hurts Everyone,provides additional detail regarding the problems non-profits are experiencing, and outlines the broader social and financial implications of these issues. It also proposes solutions that non-profits, government officials, funders, and citizens can adopt to improve services, restore value for taxpayers, and provide better benefit to communities.
New Jersey Non-Profits 2011: Trends and Outlook
Annual New Jersey Non-Profit Issues & Trends Survey Results
Center for Non-Profits Executive Director Linda Czipo was part of a panel examining the state’s fiscal crisis at a recent taping of the public affairs program, Caucus: New Jersey. The program, titled, “On the Front Lines: New Jersey’s Budget Crisis,” explores the state’s financial picture as a long-term problem, and its subsequent impact on average New Jersey citizens. It aired on local public television stations in April 2010, and can be viewed now on the Caucus: New Jersey Web site at http://www.caucusnj.org/caucusnj/special_series/frontlines/budget_crisis.asp.
We've set up a separate page to provide highlights of important IRS policies and developments, such as Form 990 issues, public disclosure requirements, election year guidance and more.
Go to the Center's IRS policy page
On March 18, 2010, President Obama signed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, legislation that will provide incentives for employers to hire certain out-of-work individuals. The main vehicle of the bill is a tax credit against the employer’s 6.2% share of Social Security taxes (the employee share of Social Security and other taxes will still need to be withheld). For the employer to qualify for the credit, the worker hired must have been unemployed for the last 60 days and meet other criteria. The bill took effect upon signing, so the tax credit is available immediately for any eligible worker hired after February 3, 2010. The tax credit expires at the end of this year, so employers who are ready to hire will save more by hiring sooner. The National Council of Nonprofits (to which all Center for Non-Profits members automatically belong) has posted a fact sheet about the new legislation on its Web site at www.councilofnonprofits.org/public-policy/federal-policy-issues/economic-recovery/jobs/hiring-incentive-now-available.
As has been widely reported, President Obama signed sweeping health care reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, into law on March 23, 2010. The White House has estimated that the new law will extend health insurance coverage to 32 million uninsured people, while providing relief for small employers and cutting the federal deficit by $100 billion over the next 10 years. A related budget reconciliation bill has passed both houses of Congress and is expected to be signed shortly.
In a victory for non-profit employers, the new law contains a provision allowing qualifying small employers, including non-profits, to receive a credit against payroll taxes to help offset the cost of health insurance premiums. The Center joined with the National Council of Nonprofits and other non-profit advocates to ensure that non-profits as well as small businesses could access the benefit. Qualifying employers with fewer than 25 employees and with average salaries of less than $50,000 will be able to benefit from this provision, with even higher benefits available to employers with fewer than 10 employees and average salaries of under $25,000.
The National Council of Nonprofits is preparing a detailed analysis from a non-profit perspective, and we will share this when it becomes available. In the meantime, comprehensive information regarding the health reform legislation can be found at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s Web site at www.kff.org.
2009 New Jersey Non-Profit Economic Trends Data
click here for the FALL 2009 full report
click here for the FALL 2009 press release
click here for the Spring 2009 full report - New Jersey Non-Profits 2009: Trends and Outlook
click here for the Spring 2009 press release
The Center for Non-Profits will continue to gather and disseminate information regarding how non-profits are faring in the current economic and social environment, and what can be done to address emerging trends.
UPMIFA Law Will Provide More Flexibility for Charity Endowments
Legislation to provide relief to charities whose endowment funds have eroded in value due to the recession was signed into law by Governor Corzine on June 10, 2009. S-2583 (Codey/Ruiz)/A-3871 (Deignan/McKeon), the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA), provides additional discretion to charities to spend their endowments as long as certain conditions are met. more information
National "Listening Post" Survey on Nonprofit Capital and Construction Projects
In February 2009, we asked our members to provide input about the various “shovel ready” construction projects non-profits have on hold that could help the nation’s recovery/investment efforts by generating both immediate jobs and long-term facilities that could benefit communities for decades. This outreach was part of a national effort conducted in in partnership with the National Council of Nonprofits and the Listening Post Project, run by Lester Salamon of the Johns Hopkins Center on Civil Society Studies.
Read the New Jersey highlights here.
For the national report, visit www.jhu.edu/listeningpost/news/pdf/shovel-ready%20communique_FINAL.pdf
New Jersey Non-Profits at the Crossroads
GOVERNOR SIGNS PAY-TO-PLAY BILL INTO LAW
On January 13, 2008, Governor Corzine signed into law legislation, S-3025 (Lesniak/Kyrillos)/A-4660 (Quigley/Cryan), to clarify that the pay-to-play disclosure laws do not apply to non-profit entities. The new law, P.L. 2007, c. 304, takes effect immediately.
As a result of this legislation, non-profits who contract with government agencies are no longer required to file annual disclosure statements with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) regarding individual campaign contributions made by their directors, officers, trustees and respective spouses. Non-profits are also exempt from the requirement that similar disclosures be made with the government contracting agency prior to execution of a given contract.
Comments/Next Steps: The Center for Non-Profits has long argued that because 501(c)(3) organizations cannot legally be involved in partisan activities and because individuals' campaign contribution is already publicly available, the pay-to-play disclosure regulations are especially onerous and potentially damaging to charities. S-3025/A-4660 will provide needed relief for charities from the administrative burdens of the disclosure requirements, while political contributions information for individuals will continue to be accessible to the public.
Please take one more moment to thank the government leaders who made this legislation happen. They include the bill sponsors, Senators Raymond Lesniak, Senator Joseph Kyrillos, Assemblywoman Joan Quigley and Assemblyman Joseph Cryan; Governor Corzine; and your own legislator if s/he voted for the bill. Voting records are available from the NJ Legislature's Web site at www.njleg.state.nj.us (because the 2008-09 legislative session has already begun, you'll need to search the 2006-2007 bill database for S3025; call the Center if you need help finding out how your legislators voted).
NOTE TO ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED THE ONLINE FILING: If your non-profit has already completed the ELEC online filing and would like to rescind the filing so that your information will not be made public on the ELEC web site, you may submit a written request to ELEC to have your "Business Entity" information withdrawn. Your request should be addressed to ELEC's "Special Programs" office and may be faxed to: 609-292-4238 or mail to "Special Programs, Election Law Enforcement Commission, P.O. Box 185, Trenton, New Jersey, 08625-0185." In the letter, you must indicate the exact name of the organization that filed the report and state: "I am a nonprofit entity and I do not wish to have my 'Business Entity' Form disclosed." You should still retain your paper records, as well as an electronic copy of the Form BE that you originally filed.
The text of S-3025 is available at www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/s3500/3025_i1.pdf . For more information, contact the Center.
Thank you for your strong advocacy for this important legislation! Your contacts were crucial to the success of this effort!
Charitable Immunity Bill Signed into Law
On January 5, 2006, Governor Codey signed into law S-540, which makes New Jersey's Charitable Immunity Act inapplicable in lawsuits alleging negligent hiring, supervision or retention of an "employee, agent or servant" that resulted in a sexual offense being committed against a person under the age of 18. The new law (P.L. 2005, c. 264), which takes effect immediately, includes a retroactivity provision which allows plaintiffs whose suits are still somewhere in the judicial process (including those on appeal) to proceed without the charitable immunity defense being available to the organization. It will also apply in cases where the statute of limitations for filing had not yet expired as of January 5, 2006.
The Center for Non-Profits monitors and advocates for New Jersey's non-profit community on issues that are common to the broad array of non-profit concerns. If you would like to discuss a non-profit issue of interest to you, or if you have comments/questions about any of our advocacy work, please contact us.
The Center’s advocacy, communications and technical assistance services would not be possible without the direct support of Center members. If your organization is a dues-paying member, we thank you for your support and involvement which help to sustain this work.
If your organization is not currently a member, we encourage you to explore the many benefits of membership at www.njnonprofits.org/Membership.html . Membership is a sound investment in your organization and in New Jersey's non-profit community for the people of our state.
Simply put, the more members we have, the stronger we can be for you. Dues start at just $99/year; join today!