A critical first step toward stronger government partnerships with nonprofits


Contact info: Lauren Kay (laurenk@calnonprofits.org), CalNonprofits

January 11, 2023

To all who have taken part in advancing our efforts to improve nonprofit partnerships with the state: our voices have been heard!

Governor Newsom made a refreshing statement as part of his proposed budget, released yesterday, and it is one that can only be seen as a first critical step forward in our ongoing effort to strengthen the partnership between nonprofits and the state through more equitable contracting practices.

“Today, with a few simple words in his budget, Governor Newsom affirmed an important request from hundreds of nonprofits across the state that want to continue to play the crucial roles that California needs them to play: as the backbone of services for the state’s most vulnerable communities,” said Jan Masaoka, CEO of CalNonprofits. “The Governor’s remarkable, explicit commitment to work toward improving how government and nonprofits work together demonstrates his administration’s awareness that the Governor’s ambitious goals for California lean heavily on nonprofits to provide their services and their hearts.”

The language in the Governor’s budget summary is simple: “The Administration will consider changes to address issues within the nonprofit sector to support the sector’s ability to deliver on meeting goals in state programs.” But it signals an important acknowledgment from the Governor and his administration of the call for change from our sector and opens up new opportunities for collaboration and a move toward increased equity.

CalNonprofits and our partners in the California Contracting Coalition are already working with several legislators to develop a legislative package that will propose statutory changes to address the opportunities raised in our October letter to state leaders. And we will continue the arduous, detailed work of turning the language of goals into the language of legislation, regulation, and practice. We are enthusiastic about this opportunity and grateful to have thoughtful and empathetic leadership within the administration taking the lead.

In the coming months, we will also undoubtedly be calling on you to contact legislators and state administrators, to sign letters and send emails…in short, to use our strong, collective voice in service to our commitment to equity and fairness, to our communities, and the vulnerable people and places at the heart of our work.

Read the press release for Jan Masaoka’s full statement, along with reactions from the chairs of the legislative select committees on the nonprofit sector, Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley) and Senator Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara).

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