In November 2013, Ana Oliveira, President and CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation (NYWP), was a guest on our radio program, Human Services News and Views. She found the broadcast to be so worthwhile that she requested we submit a grant application to NYWP for funding to continue the radio show into 2014. The radio show grant was submitted and accepted in December 2013, enabling HSC to continue the program.
Human Services News and Views returned to the radio on May 8th. It airs every Thursday from 6-7pm on WVOX 1460 AM. Previously aired shows are available via podcast on the HSC’s website
The Nonprofit Revitalization Act is now a law. It is the first major reform in more than 40 years to New York’s Charities laws which govern the state’s nonprofit sector. This act was proposed by the New York State Attorney General (AG), Eric T. Schneiderman. It would enhance oversight of nonprofits by their boards, provide new tools to the AG to stop fraud and abuse, and reduce unnecessary burdens long-plaguing nonprofits in New York. The AG shortly after taking office two years ago began work on nonprofit sector reform. In July 2011, he formed the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization with 32 nonprofit leaders from across the state. This committee was charged with developing proposals to reduce regulatory burdens on the nonprofit sector while strengthening governance and accountability in collaboration with the Attorney General’s office. HSC Executive Director, Michael Stoller, became a member of the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization . While serving on this committee he also co-chaired a key subcommittee, Reducing Burdens on Nonprofits subcommittee . In December 2011, as a result of the member’s diligent work the Leadership Committee presented a report to the AG with 38 actionable recommendations to strengthen the nonprofit sector. The AG then released the report entitled Revitalizing Nonprofits, Renewing New York . with these recommendations in February 2012. Highlights of these recommendations were to provide cash flow loans to nonprofits; centralize contracting processes and improve accountability; improve efficiencies and oversight through a data vault; and modernize laws to make NY more non-profit friendly. Key achievements resulted from the committee’s work and HSC played a strong role in this taking place. HSC’s advocacy efforts during this assignment were successful in that of the 38 recommendations, 11 of them match those put forward by HSC on behalf of its members. Several of the recommendations were influenced by those coming from the subcommittee co-chaired my Michael. Of the recommendations, one resulted in a new State-wide appointment. Governor Cuomo appointed Fran Barrett in May 2012 as New York State’s first Interagency Coordinator for Non-Profit Organizations. Two new initiatives were introduced: New York on BOARD and Directors U. New York on BOARD (“Building Oversight, Awareness, Resources and Depth”) is a program for director recruitment in order to build stronger and more diverse boards for nonprofits. Directors U will focus on providing training to nonprofit directors that will be at minimal cost or free and easily accessible. CharitySTRONG, a new nonprofit organization was started to operate these two initiatives. Executive Director Michael Stoller was named to this organization’s board. Lastly, the committee’s recommendations formed the basis of the Attorney General’s Nonprofit Revitalization Act.
In December, the NYC Council passed a bill that will change the administrative code of New York City Lobby Laws . The legislation includes many changes proposed by HSC and supported by the New York City Lobbying Commission. HSC testified before the Commission on numerous occasions, held individual meetings with Commission members, and testified before the Committee on Governmental Operations, which has oversight in this area. The amendment, which went into effect in January 2014, alleviates burdens nonprofits face while complying with City Lobby Laws, enabling organizations to better comply with the law. In particular, HSC successfully advocated for:
Raising the threshold for lobbying registration from $2,000 to $5,000 (§13 (a)(1)) and creating a limited reporting scheme for organizations who lobby on their own behalf and spend between $5,000 and $10,000 (§13(2)) Granting the City Clerk discretion in applying fines, as well as in reducing fines for first time filers and in requiring the Clerk to look at certain factors when applying fines (§29(2)) A six month amnesty period wherein groups can register as lobbyists without penalty Requiring the City Clerk to proactively contact groups who may be engaged in lobbying activity and doing educational outreach
As a part of the Who Cares? I Do. Campaign, HSC’s large scale advocacy campaign launched in February 2011, a core group of human services providers were engaged to serve as Lead Advocates. The Lead Advocates are a diverse group of organizations with the staff and resources to commit to an active role in this campaign. The Lead Advocates are an essential component of our advocacy work, they have been at the forefront of press efforts and meetings with elected officials, and the story of their organization, staff, and the people they serve demonstrates the need for government to invest in the nonprofit sector.
Each agency signed an agreement outlining the expectations and responsibilities of serving in this role, as well as the benefits their agency can receive. This group is expected to engage in a number of activities with HSC. In preparation for these actions, HSC has provided the Lead Advocates with in-depth training on grassroots organizing, working with the media, the legislative process, communicating with elected officials, and how to brand and present their organizations to elected officials and the public for advocacy purposes. Consequently, they have been involved in contributing media stories, helping to organize advocacy events, and meeting with elected and appointed officials to highlight the needs of the sector, and assisting in lobbying efforts.
In 2011, nineteen different member human services organizations agreed to serve as Lead Advocates. HSC has successfully been able to continue this initiative with nineteen Lead Advocates in 2012 and twenty in 2013. Twenty-four Lead Advocates were recruited for FY14 (an increase of 20% over last year).
The non-profit human services sector is essential to maintaining the wellbeing of millions of New Yorkers. City government agencies fund a large percentage of the human and social services provided by this sector. However, the processes of attaining this financial support can be complex and drawn-out, and therefore, detract from the comprehensive attention and care provided by these agencies to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. Addressing and preventing the adverse effects of the procurement process on the provision of human services and enhancing the city government-nonprofit provider partnerships underlining the delivery of these services became priorities during Mayor Bloomberg’s period in office. Under his leadership, in 2009, the Strengthening Nonprofits Task Force was created with the aim of exploring new ways of improving procurement practices and strengthening nonprofit organizations that contract with the city. The Task Force was led by the deputy mayor for health and human services, Linda I. Gibbs, the President and CEO of the United Way of New York City, Gordon Campbell, and the deputy executive director of the Human Services Council of New York, Allison Sesso.
A strategic system developed during the course of reforming the City’s procurement practices is the Health and Human Services (HHS) Accelerator System. On November 1, 2013 New York City announced the launch of HHS Accelerator. The HHS Accelerator was created to reengineer the procurement and contracting process between the NYC government and human services providers. It centralizes, simplifies and accelerates the procurement process for City staff and non-profit providers. With the implementation of this system, the administrative requirements of the procurement process for nonprofits will be reduced, allowing human services providers more time to dedicate to their clients and services. City agencies are using the HHS Accelerator system to manage the entire proposal process, which includes releasing requests for proposals (RFPs), receiving submissions, evaluating proposals, and selecting awardees. Once the awardee has been selected, the financial aspects of the contract can be managed in the Accelerator.
From the beginning, HSC has played a key role in the restructuring of the City contracting process and the development of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Accelerator System. The City requested HSC’s input to ensure that the providers’ needs and feedback are incorporated into the new system:
HSC was the City’s only partner to work directly with the program developers on HHS Accelerator Data initiative. This initiative was established to help the City’s nonprofit organizations manage data, benchmark performance, and share information with stakeholders and funders. HSC met with City government representatives to institutionalize procurement policy changes and to ensure these changes remain operational into future administrations. HSC’s General Counsel, Michelle Jackson, served on the Accelerator Design Working Group, which met to provide feedback on aspects of Accelerator, including the overall design, the solicitation management and financials design, and the training and deployment strategy HSC conducted a focus group with its members (May 2012) to review the initial design of the HHS Accelerator Data Vault and online application process. The group was given a demonstration of the Data Vault and provided feedback on different aspects of the program.
HSC began this contracting reform work over five years ago and continues to monitor it today. For more information on the HHS Accelerator and how your organization can create an account in the system, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhsaccelerator/html/home/home.shtml
New York City’s not-for-profit human services providers play a critical role in helping people recover from the devastation of natural or man-made disasters. This has been evident in recent years after the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the influx of evacuees impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and after the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. These organizations came together to coordinate care for and meet the needs of victims and their families. The sector initially formed a nonprofit entity in 2001 for this purpose named the United Services Group (USG). However, USG lost its funding in 2004 and then HSC inherited its mission - disaster recovery and coordination of the human services sector. HSC became proficient in this area thereafter and developed a Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plan of the Not-for-Profit Human Services Sector in New York City (or “Human Services Disaster Plan”) under the guidance of the of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Committee of the HSC Board of Directors in 2007.
Since HSC became recognized for its disaster preparedness and recovery work, it was asked to coordinate the Hurricane Sandy disaster recovery efforts for the City’s not-for-profit human services sector. Disaster coordination serves the following purposes:
It streamlines service delivery It minimizes delays and redundancy in service provision It permits non-profits to work together effectively to meet the human needs created by disasters; and It coordinates disaster preparedness and response efforts with government agencies at all levels.
Some of the activities that resulted from our disaster coordination work around Hurricane Sandy include:
In collaboration with the Governor’s Office, HSC distributed a survey in the days following the storm. The goal of the survey was to diagnose the sector needs, analyzing hundreds of responses to provide Immediate, Short-Term, Long-Term, and Sector Sustainability Needs to the State and City for their recovery planning, as well as statistics regarding the impacts. HSC connected the Governor’s office with service providers that could distribute food provided by the State within days of the storm that would have otherwise gone to waste. HSC also recruited social workers on an emergency basis for sites designated to be in serious need by the City. HSC coordinated, along with FEMA and the City, door-to-door visits in high-rise residential buildings in Coney Island and Far Rockaway to help to ensure all residents were accounted for. HSC collected and distributed almost daily updates of information on the storm and the response to it, including resources for providers and clients, donation information, and volunteer needs. This resource was used by nonprofits, clients, government, and philanthropies, aiding in sharing information. HSC, at the City’s request, organized a meeting in which Deputy Mayor Gibbs and several key staff involved in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts attended. The goal of the meeting was to create a dialogue between the City and nonprofits leading Sandy relief efforts, while planning, implementing, and coordinating longer-term care. To sufficiently support the disaster recovery work of the sector, in February (2013), HSC formed and has since facilitated a Disaster Recovery Group, a collection of 30 leaders of 14 human services organizations deeply engaged in Sandy recovery. The group is chaired by Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York. The group meets periodically to share information, exchange views, identify common concerns and interests and prioritize the efforts that HSC undertakes in support of the sector. In partnership with Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs, HSC conducted a survey of human services organizations in New York to better understand the Sandy recovery experience from the human services perspective and gather data to inform planning for the continuing recovery and in anticipation of future disasters. More than 100 organizations responded to the survey. The survey report, “Far From Home: Nonprofits Assess Sandy Recovery and Disaster Preparedness” provides insights into the impact of post-Sandy services provided by the human services sector, the extent of unmet community need, the quality of relief coordination, and strategies to accelerate recovery. Responses to the survey clearly revealed we are far from a full recovery and improved disaster coordination is necessary. In October, HSC convened a Sandy Forum attended by 130 leaders from over 80 agencies in the human services sector, academia, government and philanthropies, focusing on the experiences of nonprofits engaged in the recovery; and panel discussions about housing, case management services, immigrant issues, volunteerism and disaster preparedness. The forum allowed for the cultivation of relationships among leaders with various perspectives and resulted in agreements to maintain these conversations. HSC subsequently developed Sandy Recommendations culled from the report, forum, meetings and discussions held this past year. Working in close coordination with members of our Disaster Recovery Group, HSC will present the recommendations to philanthropies, the incoming City Administration and leaders of State, as well as, if warranted, the Federal government.
HSC continues Disaster Preparedness and Coordination as part of its key work activities. Click here to learn more about these work efforts on the Human Services Council website.
HSC Sandy recommendations: here The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization designed to promote partnerships between the City and the private sector to support public programs) allocated significant funds to human services organizations for Sandy relief, including funding for an HSC Disaster Coordinator position. In addition, The Mayor’s Fund, in cooperation with the Fund for the City of New York, made available a Fund of over $25 million, to reimburse nonprofit organizations for expenses incurred as a result of Sandy-related damages. The establishment of this Fund was due in part to HSC’s efforts to raise awareness about the importance of financial support to Sandy-affected human services organizations. Attachment: Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City press release, 3/26/13
In June, HSC started a weekly, hour-long radio series , co-hosted by Executive Director Michael Stoller and Deputy Executive Director Allison Sesso, featuring guests from the nonprofit, government, and private sectors. Voices of Human Services aired by WWRL 1600 IS on Wednesday nights from 11pm – 12 midnight. The program explored a range of topics related to the provision of human services and the needs of New Yorkers. The series ran from June 26th – August 28th.
In September, HSC joined forces with the region’s leading human services-focused media group, New York Nonprofit Press (NYNP), to co-produce an expanded radio program – Human Services News and Views. This new partnership enabled us to add new content to the program, increase our outreach, and expand our audience. The new program format re-capped human services news for the previous week, highlighted upcoming events, examined local and national human services issues, and featured on-air interviews with leaders in the local nonprofit human services community. Fred Scaglione, Editor of NYNP, joined Michael Stoller and Allison Sesso as a co-host. Human Services News and Views was moved to air at a better timeslot on WWRL 1600 AM from 5-6pm on Sunday. This series was broadcasted from September 15th – December 22nd.
The shows are available via podcast on the HSC’s website
HSC worked with Fran Barrett, New York State’s first Interagency Coordinator for Non-for- Profit Services, to create and enact a Statewide Grants Management System based on our successful contract reform work with New York City. The system extends contract terms, which allows for continuity of service, reduces the administrative overhead of having to re-execute contracts, and enables nonprofits to enter into long-term contracts that can save resources (for example, real estate leases). The Grants Management system was launched in April.
In addition to contract terms and conditions, HSC advocated for the state to adopt a streamlined, online contracting system. This year, the State launched the Grant Opportunity Portal, a website for anyone interested in grant opportunities with the State, and a Grantee Document Vault for existing grantees and potential applicants to securely store key organizational information online, for use by State agencies. The Grant Opportunity Portal and Grantee Document Vault can be accessed on the NYS Grants Gateway website
In January 2012, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order #38 to prevent not-for-profit and for-profit service providers that receive public funds from using these resources for excessive compensation and unnecessary administrative costs. The proposed regulations to implement Executive Order 38 were then released in May 2012. Thereafter, HSC advocated on behalf of the nonprofit human services sector, submitted comments on all versions of the regulations, and held numerous meetings with the Governor’s staff to explain how these regulations will impact the sector and to ask for changes and clarification. HSC more specifically advocated for:
Clarification on the reporting period and having it match existing State timelines (State cost reports, fiscal year, or calendar year); Changes to definitions on executive compensation to more closely match IRS definitions; Clarification on the definition of “covered provider” and sample lists of the types of providers and/or programs that are deemed covered; and Revisions to the definition of administrative expenses to exclude large expenses (in excess of $10,000) from being considered under the fifteen percent cap and clarification that billing systems and electronic records may be considered as program expenses.
The advocacy efforts of HSC were successful in getting changes made to Executive Order #38’s proposed regulations. The regulations took effect on July 1, 2013.
To aid in understanding these regulations HSC prepared a brief document entitled Practical Guidance on Regulations to Implement EO # 38, which can be accessed here.
Twenty-four Lead Advocates were recruited for FY14 (an increase of 20% over last year). HSC engaged Lead Advocates by providing tailored lobbying training (including guidance on engaging City Council candidates); involving them in meetings with elected and appointed officials to highlight needs and advocate for increased funding; and gathering information from them to highlight sector issues in HSC blogs, Runaways and Homeless Youth: Why Breaking Records isn't Always a Good Thing and Stop & Frisk, 8/28/13 Stop & Frisk: Nonprofits Address the Impact of NYPD Practices in Communities.
On January 14th, HSC hosted a nonprofit summit, Doubling Down: How Recommitting to the Nonprofit Sector Can Achieve Real Change in Communities , to bring together cross-sector leaders to discuss why the human services sector is suffering, how to change the culture and practices that keep the sector from thriving, and what can be done to ensure that nonprofits are meeting community needs. The day's events included six separate panel discussions, as well as a keynote address by Robert Egger, founder and president of the DC Central Kitchen (the country’s first “community kitchen”) and CForward (an advocacy organization for the nonprofit sector).
The Doubling Down summit was a huge success. The successes included:
Having a diverse audience of stakeholders. 170 individuals participated comprised of stakeholders from nonprofits (51%), government (15%), philanthropy (11%), academia (10%), and media (3%). Obtaining media coverage of the event. The press release from the summit appeared in 405 online news and information sites throughout the US, including MarketWatch, Reuters, Yahoo Finance, New York Business Journal, TimesUnion.com (Albany), and the online site for the Albany ABC TV network affiliate. Effectively promoting the summit on social media. HSC received 42 new followers on Twitter the day of the event alone, 22 people live-tweeted from the summit, and over 540 tweets used the #DoubleDown hashtag. Establishing key themes to affect positive change for the nonprofit sector. Some of the themes that wove throughout the panels incorporated: the need for a more politically active nonprofit, human services sector; the importance of taking risks in our approaches to social problems and encouraging innovation; re-envisioning our approach to government contracting and philanthropic grant-making; and developing a unified and consistent message for the sector aimed at improving public understanding and recognition of its role in the economy. Developing a set of recommendations for public policy reforms and advocacy strategies to secure policy change. The public policy changes address the underlying flaws in the human services delivery system; the advocacy strategies outline a path to changing the outdated policies that keep this system in place. The public policy reforms consist of fifteen recommendations broken down into four key areas: procurement, performance, pay, and new ideas. The advocacy strategies consist of eleven recommendations organized into four key areas: individual, media, new ideas and bold steps. The recommendations can be found here
For a complete description of the event visit our website, check out our blog, and for photos check out our Facebook page.
Campaign for Children is a partnership between the Emergency Coalition to Save Children Care and the New York City Youth Alliance, which first came together in 2011 to stave off severe budget cuts proposed for child care and after-school programs. HSC joined the Coalition in 2012 to further its advocacy efforts in this area. The campaign was successful and ultimately persuaded city officials to halt the budget cuts and to increase the budget, securing over $120 million of one-year City Council discretionary funds for the next two years for over 47,000 children.
On May 7th, HSC issued a report, Investing in Human Capital: How Investments in Human Services Support a Strong Economy, which explains how human services such as child care and youth services, senior services, and nutrition programs remove barriers to employment and make it possible for people to remain in the workforce. Additionally, by supporting continued employment, individuals and families are helped to rise out of or be prevented from falling into poverty. Also that day, the Fiscal Policy Institute released a corresponding report entitled Helping the Helpers Will Help Us All: The Economic Situation of New York City's Health Care and Social Assistance Sector. This report profiles how the nonprofit sector is a generator of employment and how the fallen economy has increased the need for nonprofit services. These reports together show the importance of the human services sector as both a supporter and provider of jobs in New York.
HSC produced the report entitled Dangerous Moves: How Public Funding Cuts to Human Services Hurt Women and Children. This report explains the important role human services play in keeping women safe, healthy, and employed. It examines budget cuts that directly impact women in four service areas: child and elder care, homeless services, domestic violence assistance, and family health programs.
As a method of assisting the City’s nonprofits, a group purchasing plan was formed to maximize savings on purchases and give New York City funded nonprofits access to discounts on a wide range of goods and services. In October 2011, Essensa, a New York-based group purchasing organization, opened membership to non-profits working with New York City.
HSC, in partnership with the United Way of NYC, has been instrumental in promoting the initiative as well setting up the Group Purchasing Workgroup to provide feedback to the City and Essensa. The Workgroup has:
identified and communicated the unique aspects of nonprofit purchasing practices; monitored the rollout of the group purchasing initiative; played an advisory role to Essensa and the City; worked to ensure sector needs are being met; and helped to think through the overall approach. During this process, HSC negotiated with the City to ensure that the savings achieved through group purchasing would be retained by nonprofits.
The New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) is a non-partisan, independent city agency, which works to regulate different aspects related to political campaigning, elections and voter participation. The CFB’s current proposed regulations, Independent Expenditure Rules, seek increased transparency in the political process by the disclosure of independent expenditures (unaffiliated communication, service and /or payment supporting the win or defeat of a specific candidate) by independent groups. In an effort to prevent the imposition of these rules on nonprofit organizations, the HSC presents public comments to the CFB.
Nonprofit organizations are not allowed to engage in partisan political activities to support or oppose political candidates. Nonprofits focus on and bring public attention to issues of great interest such as poverty, hunger, homelessness, youth development, crime, health problems, and community improvement, among others. Their political action in advocacy plays a key role in influencing public policy toward progressively affecting the common good.
HSC’s comments remind the CFB of the political stance 501(c)(3) organizations can take and convinces them to exempt these agencies from having to adhere to these regulations. This action will save nonprofits agencies from having to generate up to 26 unnecessary reports per year.
HSC worked with partners throughout the state to increase funding in the FY13 State budget for critical human services, education, and job creation in New York. These efforts led the State to reform the personal income tax. $1.9 billion was restored to the FY13 budget easing further cuts to needed programs and services for New York’s working, middle class, and unemployed families.
On January 17, HSC releases its report, A Lose-Lose Proposition: The Economic Impact of Lost Human Services in New York State, which analyzed the negative impact of lost human services funding on employment, the economy, and the social programs that millions of state residents rely on. In the past two years, over 27,000 jobs have been lost following the $800 million budget cuts at the state level for vital human services. This report further informs that human services programs also provide nearly 1.25 million jobs, support local economies by purchasing more than a billion dollars in goods and services, and makes it possible for parents and others to hold jobs through child care, after-school and elder care programs. Read the full report to learn more about the detrimental consequences as a result of lost human services funding.
HSC rallied heavily for tax and job reform in December, gathering 90 signatories from statewide human services nonprofits. Following HSC's efforts with statewide and City-based coalitions, Governor Cuomo announced a New York State tax reform and job creation package on December 6. Highlights of the plan include $1.9 billion raised in revenue, $1 billion dedicated to a "New Works Agenda" that will create jobs throughout the State, and the Inner City Youth Employment Program.
$1.9 billion in revenue will be raised (extension of the millionaires tax would have raised about $5 bb.
The new tax plan expires December 31, 2014. A commission will be established to examine a comprehensive overhaul of the state's entire tax code.
MTA payroll tax reductions will apply to employers (including nonprofits) with payrolls under $1.7mm annually.
$1 billon will be dedicated to a “New Works Agenda” that will create jobs through investments in key infrastructure projects throughout the State.
Inner City Youth Employment Program and Tax Credit:
$25 mm dedicated to a $3,000 - $4,000 tax credit for employers who hire unemployed youth ages 16-24. Because this is a tax credit, we do not believe it applies to nonprofits.
$12 mm in support grants to youth service providers for work readiness training, occupational training, placement or job matching workplace mentoring ad follow up services.
$25 mm for workforce skills training and support programs including digital literacy, basic education and occupational training, summer youth employment, job search and placement, facilitated child care enrollment.
HSC led the advocacy effort of a 60+ member workgroup, comprised of HSC members and City representatives, to develop a Standard Health and Human Services Contract. The workgroup pushed for a standardized approach to City contracting that contains mutually agreeable terms and conditions. HSC steered the sector through the negotiation process – working hard to ensure that the interests of the sector were represented in the final document. The City accepted about 50 of HSC’s changes to the standard contract template and attendant governing documents. These changes helped ensure that human services providers are not bound to obligations they cannot meet and that the nuances and unique nature of their work with vulnerable and disenfranchised populations is not overlooked. This new contract has been used across the City’s human services agencies and has reshaped the terms and clauses of human services contracts creating a significant impact on the relationship between contracting not-for-profit agencies and the City of New York.
At the height of the Great Recession, HSC launched the Who Cares? I Do campaign to fight back against budget cuts to human services and to raise the profile of the role our programs play in helping New Yorkers in need and building strong communities. Our campaign website WhoCares-IDo.org, contains links to statistics, tools, fact sheets, and information on why human services matter; real success stories about people who received human services that changed their lives; summaries of the proposed and adopted budgets and how they affect human services; media coverage/blogs about human services; and much more. The site also contains ways that individuals, organizations, and legislators can take action to show their support of human services, including signing an online petition.
The Who Cares? I Do campaign has accomplished the following: Told the story of the clients our sector serves. We shared the importance of human services from an individual perspective and helped the public realize that our programs touch the lives of all New Yorkers. Trained nonprofit human services providers to be stronger advocates. Forged relationships with media contacts that previously did not cover human services issues. Now HSC is seen as a go-to group for press around budget, social, and nonprofit issues. Established and strengthened relationships with key elected officials. Connected with a larger network of allies.
The New York State Comptroller’s Office acknowledged HSC’s achievements in tackling the financial strain non-profit human services organizations face.
The New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office issued a
report in January 2010 on the challenges facing the non-profit sector during this economic downturn period.
The report outlined proposals that the State should employ to help mitigate some of this sector’s financial burdens.
The Recommendations to Alleviate Financial and Administrative Burdens on Not-For-Profits designed by HSC and sent out to state governmental agencies in December 2009 was instrumental in framing these proposals.
In the report HSC was recognized for its success in collaborating with City officials to accomplish some of these proposals, such as:
$ a standardized human services contract;
$ a Master Service Agreement for procurement; and
$ centralized monitoring and audit management of contracts.
This report shows that the accomplishments achieved in the City can also be replicated on the State level.
With the help of its federation and coalition heads, HSC created a list of 8 principles for City and State leaders to use when making budget decisions. HSC sent the City principles to the Mayor and all City Commissioners and the State principles to the Governor and all State Commissioners in December 2009. Government agencies indicated that they would apply some of these principles to their work in balancing the FY11 budget.
Following the survey report about the difficulties being faced by not-for-profit human services agencies due to the economic crisis, HSC developed a list of recommendations for government agencies to help not-for-profits alleviate their financial and administrative burdens.
HSC, along with Baruch College School of Public Affairs, created “The Helpers Need Help: New York City's Nonprofit Human Service Organizations Persevering in Uncertain Times” survey
(click here for survey report).
The survey investigated the financial plight of human services agencies in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 economic recession.
The survey results were presented at a forum held on September 9th.
Our financially-stressed sector received extensive media coverage in the press, radio, and TV.
(HSC worked in consultation with Pro-Media Communications to find outlets to share this story. See a complete list of the media items with links to the online stories.)
After the Governor released his Executive budget in December 2008, HSC diligently advocated in Albany for critical restorations for human services, increases to the personal income tax, and policy reforms to reduce State spending. HSC’s advocacy efforts resulted in the following revisions to the State budget:
Restored $28 million to stop the proposed one percent across-the-board cut to not-for-profit human service agencies;
Maintained the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) agreement in future years;
Restored the homeless service prevention program, Single Room Occupancy (SRO) funding, and funds for the homeless intervention program;
Restored $29 million in child welfare funding for the Community Optional Preventive Services (COPS) program;
Restored $6.4 million to Advantage After-School and added another $5 million to the program.
This effort was supported by HSC members who sent letters, made calls, held district meetings, and joined us in Albany to voice concerns.
Working with the One New York: Fighting for Fairness coalition, HSC successfully advocated for the adoption of the Fair Share Tax Reform Act.
temporarily raised the personal income tax on New York’s top earners for a three-year period from tax year 2009 to tax year 2011;
projected to counter spending cuts and to generate $ 4 billion;
created two new tax brackets from the previous flat rate of 6.85 percent for all joint filers making more than $40,000:
1) 7.85 percent for single or married-filing-separately taxpayers making more than $200,000, head-of-household filers making more than $250,000 and married couples with incomes greater than $300,000; and
2) 8.97 percent for all taxpayers making more than $500,000, regardless of filing status.