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CalNonprofits is...
...a statewide alliance of over 10,000 organizations that brings nonprofits together to advocate for the communities we serve.
 
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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

Tax Reform FireA controlled burn is good for a forest. It clears out dry brush, reduces fire hazard, and encourages a diverse, healthy ecosystem for animals and trees. In contrast, a wildfire – well, ask the people in the wine country counties: a wildfire is an unpredictable, raging force that can take lives, devastate homes and jobs, and leave land at more risk for erosion and flooding.

Our analysis of the proposed tax bill in Congress is that it's a wildfire coming straight at California – particularly California's middle class and disadvantaged communities. It must be stopped before it ravages our state.CalNonprofits’ recent survey about nonprofits adapting under Trump administration revealed that nonprofits are more worried about their communities and constituents than earlier this year. Both the House and Senate tax plans, which are scheduled to be taken up in the coming days, should make them even more worried.

The House and Senate tax plans benefit wealthy individuals and corporations at the expense of middle- and low-income families

While promising to streamline the tax code and reduce taxes for the middle class, both versions would shift resources away from low- and moderate-income people while giving major tax breaks to high-income people and wealthy corporations – dramatically increasing inequality in our communitiesSimilarly, even though both bills keep the charitable deduction, they move the deduction to where only wealthy donors would benefit from it. In fact, these proposals would restrict those who itemize deductions to only the wealthiest 5% of taxpayers, making it harder for 95% of taxpayers to make donations.

Bigger deficits mean deeper cuts to federal programs

The proposed tax plans would reduce tax dollars by the trillions, and potentially lead to dramatic increases in the deficit. That would put pressure on Congress to cut programsHand holding California that middle- and low-income families rely on, from highway repair, Medicaid, and housing to public education, medical research, and other services.For nonprofit organizations, cuts in federal programs mean cuts in contracts to nonprofits in human services, health, housing, the arts, and the environment. With one in every sixteen California jobs at a nonprofit, these cuts could translate to layoffs at nonprofits, fewer services to communities, and thousands more unemployed. California would also be disproportionately hurt by the tax bill. This New York Times article even quotes San Diego Republican Darrell Issa:  “I cannot endorse changes that may make the tremendous burden felt by California taxpayers even worse,” he said. “Tax reform should lower taxes for all taxpayers — regardless of where they live.”

Nonprofit nonpartisanship is being attacked under the guise of the House tax plan

The House Ways & Means Committee made a last-minute change to its tax bill that would weaken Johnson Amendment protections for all 501(c)(3) organizations by allowing them to engage in partisan electioneering.In effect, nonprofits – including churches and houses of worship – would be vulnerable to becoming pass-throughs for dark money by donors pressuring us to support particular candidates. People who support the work of nonprofits rely on us to use their donations to help our communities, not engage in electioneering. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that the provision would cost the federal government $2.1 billion over just six years because donors would divert their currently nondeductible political campaign donations to churches and nonprofits in order to claim charitable tax deductions.

Take a closer look

CalNonprofits policy framework states, “We support government budget and fiscal policies that provide sufficient resources to equitably and adequately meet the needs of Californians.” The House and Senate tax proposals don’t meet this standard. While the bill has been in the House Ways & Means Committee, we have contacted our members in the districts of the four California House members who sit on that committee, encouraging them to call their Representatives and amend the bill to make it fairer.As the bill moves to the full House and Senate, every one of California's 55 members of Congress holds a crucial vote. We hope our elected officials will reconsider their plans, and pass a tax plan that helps, not harms, the general welfare of Californians.

Right now Congress is considering a comprehensive tax bill, with profound and long term implications for California and the nation. Passage of tax reform could have far-reaching effects on individual and corporate taxes, on the charitable deduction, and on employment, social welfare programs, the environment, and how wealth is distributed across the country. An important context is how California nonprofits are experiencing and adapting under the Trump Administration.

In March of this year, soon after the presidential inauguration, we polled California nonprofits on what they were doing and thinking in the first days of President Trump’s administration. Last month we revisited these same questions with nonprofits and are pleased to share our big takeaways from this latest survey.

The terrible fires in Northern California remind us of the importance of emergency preparedness, and the importance of on-the-ground networks that can respond to what can’t be prepared for. We’re inspired by these stories, a few examples among many, of nonprofits at work.

Spanish speakers are grateful for the social media and mobile feeds of Sonoma’s La Luz Center.

La Luz Center is a primary hub for Spanish language information on fire-related resources and evacuations. They’re also seeking monetary donations to support the current and future needs of their Latino community clients whose lives and livelihoods have been affected by the fires. They use these funds to help clients apply for disaster unemployment, individual assistance disaster relief funds, and rental assistance referrals and job placement referrals.

La Luz, a family resource center founded to serve the Latino community — especially monolingual Spanish speakers — opened their center to everyone in the area in need of help as a result of the fires. They’ve also been distributing supplies and serving daily hot meals to fire-impacted community members.

How powerful is California’s nonprofit sector today? CalNonprofits commissioned this first-ever report to find out!
 
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How to Start a Nonprofit

Thinking of starting a nonprofit?
Find out what you need to know in our step-by-step guide! Want to hear a recording of a webinar with our CEO Jan Masaoka? Go here.

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graphic headline that reads: Our Upcoming Events  
November 15-18 in San Francisco/Oakland
Redefining Organizational Sustainability, a pre-conference session with Jan Masaoka
National Guild for Community Arts Education 80th Annual Conference for Community Arts Education
Register here
Thursday, November 30 in Los Angeles
"Overhead and the Meaning of Life" keynote by Jan Masaoka
Western Conference on Tax Exempt Organizations, Loyola Law School
Register here
Tuesday, December 5 in Los Angeles
California State Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector hearing, on The Student Debt Crisis
More details soon
Wednesday, December 6 WEBINAR
California Policy Forum on Federal Tax and the Budget Debate: Where Things Stand and Why It Matters to Our Sector
Register here

 

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