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March 2019 News

Message from Joanna Jackson, Vice President, Grant Operations
Are Nonprofits Prepared for a Possible Recession?

A reporter from The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reached out to the Weingart Foundation asking how prepared nonprofits might be for a financial downturn. I had been wondering the same thing, given the painful memories from the last major financial crisis a decade ago and predictions of another downturn in the next 12 to 18 months looming. I want to believe nonprofits are better positioned to weather a significant downturn. At the same time, our program officers share that many nonprofits are currently planning for continued, and in some cases, rapid programmatic growth in order to meet the tremendous needs our communities are facing. We urge organizations engaged in such growth plans to also consider the importance of scenario planning for the economic downturns that inevitably come. To read Joanna’s full message, click here.

Be Counted, California!

It’s a good time to get involved with the 2020 Census, a once-in-a-decade opportunity to expand fairness and inclusion. More than 70 federal programs that benefit California, including education, health, and transportation, use census numbers as part of their funding formulas. However, nearly one in four Californians live in historically undercounted census tracts that include poor people, people of color, non-English speakers, immigrants, and young children. Ensuring a fair and accurate count will require a large community-based outreach effort. We encourage nonprofits to get involved in your local census complete count committee in order to learn how to incorporate census education into your existing activities. To connect with your local complete count committee, contact the regional census office.

LA County Explores Indirect Cost Negotiations

The Weingart Foundation, Southern California Grantmakers and the California Association of Nonprofits have worked closely over the past several years to strengthen government/nonprofit contracting practices. We are pleased to share that the County of Los Angeles has recently launched a project to explore negotiating individual indirect cost rates with nonprofit contractors. When nonprofits are able to better meet their full costs, they are stronger organizations and able to serve communities more effectively. The project will consist of training and support to County staff in walking through the process of indirect cost negotiations in a simulated setting, identifying challenges and making recommendations to improve the process. This effort, which is expected to be completed by summer 2019, will allow the County to refine a model for indirect cost negotiation and identify next steps to realizing this potential change in its contracting with nonprofits. We look forward to sharing the results of the project with you over the coming months.