The Center for Non-Profits is the only umbrella organization for all New Jersey 501(c)(3)s. Since 1982, the Center has provided advocacy, resources, training and information to strengthen non-profits and help them thrive. Learn more about how the Center:
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Late on Monday, August 29, Governor Christie announced the immediate release of all of Fiscal Year 2017 transitional aid to municipalities (approximately $54 million) that had been held in reserve pursuant to Executive Order 209. The rest of the reserved funds, including more than $45 million in budgeted funding for non-profit programs, remain frozen.
As we have noted previously, the list of programs and organizations affected by the freeze is diverse and includes services for victims of sexual assault; programs for victims of domestic violence; prisoner re-entry programs; courtroom advocates for abused and neglected children; services for Holocaust survivors; Boys and Girls Clubs; housing and supportive services; vocational education; health services for people with cancer and aphasia; technical assistance services for small businesses; and many others. These programs face closure or drastic cutbacks to people in need if the freeze continues.
The Governor’s decision to continue to withhold these desperately needed funds for vital programs is alarming and is causing real pain for the affected non-profits and the many thousands of people across New Jersey who need these services. As long as the funds remain frozen and their release remains inequitably and unjustifiably tied to the actions of the School Employees' Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) committee, the current stalemate in that committee makes a timely resolution less likely, and the impact even more devastating for organizations and vulnerable people.
Contact the Governor’s office and your own state legislators and tell them to end this stalemate. Urge them to exercise their leadership to secure the release of the remaining funds being held in reserve under EO 209.
|CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS|
Call for Submissions: 2016 Emerging Nonprofit Leader Award
Deadline September 30, 2016
New Jersey non-profits are invited to nominate candidates for the 2016 Emerging Nonprofit Leader Award presented by Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) Center for Excellence and the Center for Non-Profits. Winners will be announced at the Center for Non-Profits' annual NJ non-profit conference, Charting Our Course, Claiming Our Future, December 7, 2016 at The Palace at Somerset Park.
The Center's Response to Governor Christie's Funding Freeze
On June 30, Governor Christie issued Executive Order 209, freezing approximately $100 million in funds, including $45.3 million for social programs and $53.8 million in transitional aid to municipalities, until the Legislature and public employee unions can achieve $250 million in health benefits cuts to public employees.
Now, non-profits have been unwittingly placed in the middle of a dispute about healthcare benefits for government employees, with which they are not involved and the outcome of which they cannot control. New Jersey's non-profits report that the current and potential consequences could be devastating if the funds are not released soon.
U.S. Department of Labor Overtime Rules – Additional information; upcoming webinar
As we reported previously, on May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final overtime regulations that will make mandatory overtime requirements applicable to most employees earning less than $47,500/year, including employees of non-profits. The new salary level threshold will apply to any employee who works more than 40 hours in a week, regardless of whether individual employees are considered salaried or hourly. The rules take effect December 1, 2016. more information webinar (from Pro Bono Partnership)
NJ Charitable Giving Incentive
Legislation to establish a New Jersey income tax deduction
for contributions to certain charities was passed by the Senate
Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Budget
Committee on June 23, 2016. The charitable deduction is part of a larger deal,
cosponsored by Senators Paul Sarlo (D-36) and Steven Oroho (R-24)
and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32),
which would increase gasoline taxes to fund the Transportation Trust
Fund, phase out the estate tax, and increase the earned income tax
credit, among other provisions.
The bills move next to the floor of the Senate and Assembly.
Blog: Why New Jersey Needs a Charitable Giving Deduction
New Jersey Non-Profits 2016: Trends and Outlook Survey Results
View the full report on New Jersey's non-profits' 2015 funding and expenses, outlook for the coming year, and actions taken by non-profits to address trends. Read Linda's recent blog post for a detailed explanation on what these findings mean for the non-profit community. You can also view last year's report and browse all of the Center's publications.
Property Tax Challenges
Updated April 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. Legislation to reaffirm the hospitals' property tax exemption while providing for community service contributions to municipalities has been re-introduced in the legislature, and Governor Christie has proposed a two-year moratorium on property tax challenges and the creation of a study commission to examine 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
Updated January 12, 2016 - On December 7, 2015, in the Fields vs. Trustees of Princeton University property tax exemption case, the Center for Non-Profits, represented by pro bono counsel Lowenstein Sandler LLP and joined by five other organizations, filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief in support of a motion filed by Princeton University in the challenge to its property tax exemption, a case now making its way through the courts that could have implications for many non-profits in New Jersey.The University's most recent appeal was filed in response to Tax Court Judge Vito Bianco’s November 5, 2015, ruling that the University has the burden of re-proving its property tax exemption in response to the residents’ challenge, even if it has been deemed by the municipal tax assessor to be tax exempt. more information
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!
Red TapeOrganizations Seek Relief from Contracting Burdens
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.
How is YOUR life better because of a non-profit?
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. More information
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 new 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.
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!