CalNonprofits convention photo
CalNonprofits is...
...a statewide alliance of over 10,000 organizations that brings nonprofits together to advocate for the communities we serve.
Photo at annual convention 2015
Be a member...
…to increase our collective voice in Sacramento and benefit from exclusive and discounted goods and services, including insurance just for nonprofits.

Latest News for Nonprofits

California is being hurt by new federal policies: the new tax law, the federal budget, threats to withhold federal funding to California, the proposed cuts to MediCal, and the undoing of coastline protections (just to name a few).

As part of our campaign Nonprofits Standing Up for California Communities, CalNonprofits is on the steering committee of a collaboration working to close a long-standing corporate tax loophole, and as a result, bring more than $11 billion per year to California -- for education, for social services, and for basic local services such as water systems and trauma centers. These funds will stay local -- within the counties where they are collected.

What is this loophole, anyway?
When we Californians enacted Proposition 13 to stabilize property taxes for homeowners, we unintentionally created a boondoggle for corporations. Older companies (like those having held property for 40 years) -- are paying as a little as one tenth the property taxes of newer companies. The Schools and Communities First (SCF) ballot measure initiative will level the playing field among companies, so that old and new companies will pay comparable rates. Doing so will also eliminate the incentive for companies to create complicated shell corporations to benefit from the loophole.

Wait a minute . . .will the property taxes of homeowners be affected?
No. Repeat: No. Not one bit.

So what will Schools and Communities First actually do?
First, this initiative needs to gather enough signatures to be placed on the ballot for the November election. After we get SCF on the ballot, we will need to get out the vote for it to win in the fall election. If passed, the Schools and Communities Funding Act will normalize property taxes for large corporations. Corporate real estate will be taxed at its fair market rate -- regardless of whether it was bought this year or 40 years ago. By eliminating the huge and illogical disparities among what corporations pay, we will stop penalizing new companies and at the same time, increase funding to California counties. (And, small business owners are also protected because their properties aren't reassessed until after they sell them).

What's the nonprofit angle?
The California nonprofit community is an important partner with counties. Most of our contracts to provide healthcare, mental health, environmental restoration, K-14 educational supports, and family services are with county governments. And as nonprofits, every day we see how local governments are forced to pay low teacher salaries, cut trauma clinics, and allow blight and toxics to go unaddressed. Every day we see the impacts of under-funding services. Standing up for communities includes standing up for the services and institutions that communities of all types rely on. Now, more than ever, we nonprofits must look beyond the next foundation grant proposal to large-scale, permanent changes in our tax structure to support the work we do.

So how do we get this on the ballot?

There are three important ways to help bring $11 billion per year to California schools and communities:

1) Get, sign, and share free petitions: Make sure you sign one, and ask your friends and family to sign too. Sign up with the campaign here, and use this website to find out where to pick up petitions.

2) Endorse the campaign: You can add your name either as an individual or as a nonprofit organization.

3) Tell everyone you know about Schools and Communities First. On your personal Facebook page, on your organization's Facebook page, through NextDoor, on LinkedIn, on the church bulletin board. Consider gathering signatures at local community events, or in your waiting room. Visit the the Schools and Communities First campaign website to learn more, and then follow it on Facebook and Twitter so you can see and share updates from the campaign.

If you have questions, please contact Nancy Berlin, CalNonprofits Policy Director.

We only have 8 weeks to get enough signatures to qualify this for the ballot, so time is of the essence!

Speak Up Now to Keep Partisan Politics Away from California Nonprofits

"Sneaking major policy decisions into spending bills is always a bad policy."

From LA Times Editorial Board: "Don't weaken the ban on politics in the pulpit" (March 6, 2018)

For decades, nonprofits have been protected by the Johnson Amendment, a section of the federal tax law that separates nonprofits from electioneering and political campaigns. In exchange for their tax-exempt status and ability to accept tax deductible donations, nonprofits are prohibited from endorsing, opposing, or contributing to political candidates.

However, a provision to weaken the Johnson Amendment nearly made it into the final tax law last December. As the bill was being debated, more than 200 California nonprofits weighed in against the provision. CalNonprofits and the California Council of Churches also sent a joint letter against the provision. Fortunately, the Senate Parliamentarian put the brakes on that attempt.

But now, another attack on the Johnson Amendment is underway.

Congressional leaders are looking to roll all of their major agenda items into one massive bill that must be passed by March 23 (the expiration date of the current temporary funding bill), that is considered a "must pass" bill. The Washington Post reports that a rider to weaken the Johnson Amendment has been included in this omnibus bill. However, that rider could be left out of the final bill if Congress hears from enough of us that we don't the Johnson Amendment tampered with.

How you can help preserve nonprofit protections in the Johnson Amendment:

1) Call your Senators and Representative
Share with them that the California nonprofit community supports the Johnson Amendment because it protects nonprofits from getting dragged into electioneering and partisan politics. Urge them to oppose any attempts to attach a rider to the omnibus spending bill that would weaken or eliminate the Johnson Amendment. You can reach your senators and representative by calling the Capitol switchboard (202) 225-3121, and asking to be connected to your elected officials.

2) Contact your Representative and Senators on Twitter
You can find your Representative or Senator using this website. Be sure to start your tweet with a period before the politician's twitter handle so that it will be seen by more than just you and the politician.

Here's two sample tweets you can use (just substitute in your representative) and if you include us (@CalNonprofits) in your tweet, we'll magnify your advocacy by retweeting you.

.@DevinNunes, California #nonprofits are effective b/c they focus on #CommunityNotCandidates. We urge NO weakening of #JohnsonAmendment in omnibus spending bill:

.@SenFeinstein, California #nonprofits are counting on you to maintain the #JohnsonAmendment to keep a clear line between partisan politics and #nonprofits:

Thank you for your advocacy on this important issue, and we anticipate reaching out to you again with updates in the coming weeks.

Grant Advisor Crowd-Sourced Website is Like a "Yelp" for Foundations 

CalNonprofits is proud to share the news that GrantAdvisor was recognized as one of Fast Company magazine's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the Not-for-Profit sector for 2018. GrantAdvisor is an initiative of California Association of Nonprofits, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, and Great Nonprofits.

"We launched the GrantAdvisor website in July 2017 to harness the power of crowd-sourced reviews for the nonprofit and philanthropic community," explains Jan Masaoka, CEO of CalNonprofits. "It's gratifying to see it gain traction, with nonprofits sharing candid reviews and foundations responding. GrantAdvisor is raising grantmaking impact through this feedback, and we appreciate the recognition from Fast Company."

GrantAdvisor allows grant applicants, grantees, and others to share their first-hand experiences working with funders through anonymous reviews and comments. Since launching in July 2017, over 1,000 reviews have been written about 380 funders on GrantAdvisor. The site has garnered reviews from every state, and includes reviews from 5 countries. Designated contacts at 150 foundations are now responding to reviews of their foundations on the site. More than 20 California foundations have profiles on GrantAdvisor.
get connected module titleSign up to receive our emails on member benefits, events & webinars, tips & tools, and legislation & policies that affect nonprofits.
go to Facebook page for CalNonprofits     go to Twitter page for CalNonprofits     go to LinkedIn page for CalNonprofits
How powerful is California’s nonprofit sector today? CalNonprofits commissioned this first-ever report to find out!
image of cover of Causes Count

How to Start a Nonprofit

Thinking of starting a nonprofit? Watch our How to Start a Nonprofit in California webinar with Jan Masaoka, CEO of CalNonprofits. Her jam-packed, fast-paced webinar provides you with the information you will need.

drawing of plants
graphic headline that reads: Our Upcoming Events  
Bakersfield: Town Hall Inside a Conference
Jan Masaoka and Nancy Berlin will facilitate this mini-town hall to provide a Sacramento update and hear from Kern County nonprofit leaders about their experiences and needs. This takes place at the United Way of Kern County's Annual Nonprofit Conference
Wednesday, April 4th
Register here
Aptos: Nonprofits Standing Together: Nonprofits and Elections
At this educational session, Jan Masaoka will speak to the Human Care Alliance members about nonprofits and elections, including do's and don'ts, and how nonprofit staff can use their vote to advance their mission and support their communities.
Thursday, April 5th
Register here
Livermore: Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance Conference
Jan Masaoka speaking
Thursday April 12th
Register here
California Nonprofits Day
June 6th
CalNonprofits Annual Convention
October 18th, Los Angeles
Join with more than 200 nonprofit leaders, funders, and supporters.
For more information, contact Dishauana Castro.