Public Policy

"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


Sweeping Federal Tax Overhaul Enacted

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law sweeping tax legislation that will have significant, long-term ramifications for New Jersey, for charities, and the people and communities who need them. Many provisions take effect on January 1, 2018, though taxpayers won't see the full impact of many provisions until they file their 2018 tax returns in 2019. 

Despite an important -- but possibly fleeting -- victory in removing House language that would have gutted the Johnson Amendment (the law preserving 501(c)(3) nonpartisanship), the final  bill  will precipitate steep drops in charitable giving, harm large proportions of New Jerseyans across income levels, impose immense fiscal pressures on state and local governments, and decimate charities when demand for services is already outpacing needed resources to fill community needs. 

Read more

Summary of the Tax Law

Blog: The New Federal Tax Law and New Jersey Non-Profits

Our 11/21/2017 Op-Ed in NJSpotlight:
For NJ Charities, Tax-Reform Bills Offer Little to Be Thankful For (commentary regarding an earlier version of the tax bill)

What did two 2017 gubernatorial candidates and 24 legislative candidates say about New Jersey non-profits?

Responses to the Center’s 2017 NJ Gubernatorial, State Senate, and General Assembly Candidate Questionnaire

View the responses

In order to gain greater insights regarding how this year’s candidates for New Jersey Governor and Legislature view our state’s charitable non-profit community, its role in their policy making, and their overall vision for the state, the Center for Non-Profits conducted its first-ever candidate questionnaire. 

Candidates were invited to respond online to four questions that affect our state and the non-profit community generally.  The responses of the two gubernatorial candidates and 24 legislative candidates who submitted surveys on or before the October 18 deadline are posted at http://www.njnonprofits.org/2017_StateOfficeCandidateResponses.pdf

The Center for Non-Profits is a New Jersey non-profit corporation and a federally recognized 501(c)(3) public charity. The Center cannot and does not support or oppose candidates for office or coordinate activities with political campaigns.

We view this questionnaire as one part of a comprehensive advocacy and educational strategy to increase understanding among public officials about the non-profit community, its role in making New Jersey strong, and to foster sound public policies for the people of our state.

For more information about the candidate questionnaire or non-profit issues generally, contact Linda Czipo at the Center. 

View the candidates’ responses





President Trump Issues “Free Speech and Religious Liberty” Executive Order

Also, see our Blog/Analysis on this Executive Order.

 
May 5, 2017

On May 4, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order aimed at loosening the restrictions on partisan political activities by religious organizations. The Order raises fundamental questions and concerns for the non-profit community; however, 501(c)(3) organizations should be aware that the federal statute that prohibits electioneering and partisan political activities for 501(c)(3)s is unchanged and remains in effect. More.


Non-Profit Trends and Outlook

NJ Non-Profit Survey: Continuing Gap Between Demand for Services, Funding

2017 Issues & Trends Cover

April 24, 2017 - The need for the programs and services provided by New Jersey’s non-profit organizations continues to rise, but non-profits are hampered in their ability to meet that need by continuously lagging funding and an uncertain resource environment, according to a new report released by the Center for Non-Profits.

Our deep thanks to all who participated in the survey.

Press Release
Full Report


 

Property Tax Challenges

Legislation to Protect Non-Profits from Arbitrary Tax Exemption Challenges by Third Parties Reintroduced

Updated February 27, 2017 - 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 reintroduced in the New Jersey Legislature. The Center for Non-Profits strongly supports this legislation. more information

Additional background on the property tax exemption issue:

Tax Court Rules Against Hospital in Morristown Property Tax Case; Legislative, Gubernatorial Action

Updated February 27, 2017 - 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

Princeton University Settles Property Tax Lawsuit

October 17, 2016 - On Friday, October 14, 2016, Princeton University announced that it had reached a settlement with a group of Princeton residents that had filed lawsuit challenging the property tax exemption of the university. The trial in the Fields vs. Trustees of Princeton University case had been set to begin October 17. The Center for Non-Profits, joined by several other organizations, had previously filed two amicus (friend of the court) briefs in support of the University in the case.  The agreement brings this litigation to an end, but for non-profits, additional questions and vulnerabilities remain.
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


Don’t Weaken the Existing Ban on Electioneering by 501(c)(3) Organizations
Front and Center masthead 
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.

Non-Profit Trends and Outlook

NJ Non-Profit Survey: "Chronic Under-Funding" Cause for Concern

2016 Issues & Trends Cover

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.

Press Release
Full Report

Blog: Chronic Under-Funding of Non-Profits: An Unacceptable Risk


RED TAPE

Organizations Seek Relief from Contracting Burdens

2015 Recommendations to the Red Tape Review Commission

Read the 2015 report from an alliance of non-profit and provider organizations outlining  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.  Since this report's release, the Center has continued to push for the recommendations.

Press Release
Full Report



Government Grants

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. more information


State launches e-procurement portal

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. NJSTART Logo

 


Report: New Jersey “Worst” at Paying Non-Profits Full Cost of Services

National_Council_Report

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.
Press Release

 



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