February 28, 2019      Volume 4, Issue 5
Message From the CEO
Context and Narrative Change
For the past two days, I have been at the Aspen Forum on Children and Families, hosted by Ascend at the Aspen Institute. Along with over 200 leaders from nonprofits, academia, government, and foundations, we learned and shared about the most pressing challenges facing our nation’s children and families. We heard about social determinants of health, the power of a multi-generation approach to service, and the pursuit of equity across race, ethnicity, geography, and gender. And repeatedly, we heard about the need for narrative change to increase the public understanding that will drive policy change.
Eldar Shafir, a behavioral scientist from Princeton, presented his research on decision-making in contexts of poverty, the psychology of scarcity. When our programs, services, and policies do not recognize and reflect the very real context of poverty, our systems fail to produce the results which will effectuate real change. Because our brains have limited bandwidth, if you are a person who is worried about your next meal or making your next loan payment or that your neighborhood is not safe for your children to play outside, your ability to learn or get to a training on time or any number of lesser or greater tasks is greatly diminished. And, when we don’t appreciate the context of poverty, we attribute poverty to the person not the context.
Moving the attribution of poverty from the person to the broader context is a key element of our National Reframing Human Services Initiative. For the past several years we have trained thousands of human services professionals in the well-being narrative to increase the public’s understanding of our work and the people we serve. We welcome all of you to help us move this critical narrative change.
Lee Sherman, President & CEO
Of Note...
NHSA Circulates Legislative Priorities to Congress
Last Tuesday, NHSA distributed a summary of our legislative priorities to the Chiefs of Staff for all 535 Members of the 116th Congress. We hope you will join us in the coming months to leverage our sector’s collective expertise to advance policies that support human services, build well-being, and promote thriving communities. We asked specifically each Member of Congress to: Protect the Johnson Amendment; pass Higher Education Reauthorization; pass a Clean Dream Act; and protect the integrity of the 2020 Census.
We encourage you to considering adopting similar priorities and utilize our messaging in your own advocacy work. If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact Brandon Toth, Director of Public Policy, at btoth@nassembly.org.
Action Needed on Transportation UBIT
Last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act imposed a 21-percent unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on nonprofits for expenses they incur in providing their employees with transportation fringe benefits, such as parking and transit passes. The new tax went into effect January 1, 2019. There is bipartisan support for repealing this tax on tax-exempt organizations.
Bills pending in the 116th Congress, H.R. 1223 by House Majority Whip Clyburn (D-SC) and H.R. 513 by Representative Conaway (R-TX), would repeal the transportation tax for nonprofit organizations. A provision repealing the tax also was included in an end-of-year tax bill in 2018 that passed the House, but was not taken up in the Senate. The IRS issued guidance on December 10, 2018, for calculating parking expenses for unrelated business taxable income purposes and provided penalty relief to nonprofits. The guidance is incomplete, costly, and creates additional confusion for nonprofits. See the IRS News Release and National Council of Nonprofits summary. For more information about how your organization can get involved, visit the National Council of Nonprofits’ take action page.
Your Input Needed: State of Grantseeking Survey
This survey is the informal survey of nonprofits conducted by GrantStation to reveal the current state of grantseeking in the US. The State of Grantseeking Survey spotlights recent developments in funding so that organizations can be more strategic in their grantseeking. The resulting FREE State of Grantseeking Reports, published in May and June, serve as valuable analytics tools for organizations to review their grantseeking efforts, report on performance, and plan for the future. The benchmarks suggest reasonable levels of funding to expect for an organization based on median awards by organizational budget and mission. This leading-edge information is key data for all organizations. Please complete this survey to help strengthen the results! The deadline to complete is March 31.
Youth in Custody Certificate Program
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) recently released a Request for Applications for the Youth in Custody Certificate Program, which will be held at Georgetown University July 22-26, 2019. The training is designed to help juvenile justice system leaders and child serving partners improve outcomes for youth in custodial settings. The curriculum covers critical areas including leadership and changing culture, racial and ethnic disparities, family engagement, assessment, case planning, facility-based education and treatment services, and reentry planning and support. The program will also include a tour of Washington DC's New Beginnings Youth Development Center. Applications are due by Friday, April 12. Apply now.
Opportunities and Resources
  • "State of Babies Yearbook 2019" from Zero to Three »
  • 2019 John W. Gardner Leadership Award honoring a visionary changemaker – Deadline: April 12 via Independent Sector »
  • Nominate an Outstanding 50+ Changemaker for the AARP Purpose Prize – Deadline March 31 via AARP »
  • “Prosperity Now Scorecard: Vulnerability in the Face of Economic Uncertainty” via Prosperity Now »
  • “Commentary: Joint efforts building solutions to homelessness” by Reframing Partner the Community Services Advisory Council via HeraldNet »
  • Woke at Work – Resources for integrating your equity work via Equity in the Center »
  • “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope” via Aspen Institute »
  • Grants to Expand High-Quality Youth ApprenticeshipsDeadline to Apply: March 8 via The Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship »
  • Encore Fellow – Individuals seeking a high-impact, flexible, time-limited, paid assignment with nonprofits and public agencies, or offering the opportunity to work in a new social-purpose environment should apply. Deadline: Ongoing via Encore.org »
  • 12 unique funding opportunities each week via GrantStation Insider »
Job Listings
  • Senior Policy Analyst for Human Services via Economic Opportunity Division, NGA Center for Best Practices
  • Division Director via Economic Opportunity Division, NGA Center for Best Practices
  • Senior Policy Analyst for Social-Emotional Learning and the Whole Child via Education Division, NGA Center for Best Practices
  • ON DEMAND: One-Stop-Shop For All of Your Business Needs with Staples Business Advantage  Recording »
  • ON DEMAND: IT Solutions for Nonprofits with Contour Data Solutions  Recording »
  • 2019 Nonprofit Technology Conference in Portland, OR  March 13-15 »
  • ACHIEVE! Excellence in Person Centered Care: 2019 NJHSA Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA  March 31–April 3 »
  • Ready by 21 National Meeting in Seattle, WA  April 23-25 »
  • APHSA National Health and Human Services Summit in Arlington, VA  May 19-22 »
  • Essential Conversations on Human Services: 2019 NHSA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC  June 11 »
  • Bridging the Generations in Portland, OR  June 12-14 »
  • Age+Action Conference in Washington, DC  June 17-20 »
  • 2019 Risk Summit in Leesburg, VA  October 21-22 »
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FrameWorks Institute recently released extensive new research on adolescent development. “To help build public understanding and create demand for necessary policies and programs, FrameWorks studied how Americans understand the changes that occur during adolescence, the factors that influence it, and what supports it.” Sponsored by Funders for Adolescent Science Translation, the research aims to close the gap between scientific understanding of adolescent development and the public’s thinking. In three reports issued at the end of 2018, FrameWorks outlines the dominant media and public narratives for adolescent development, shows the divergence of opinion between how the American public thinks about youth development and experts’ knowledge on the subject, and provides recommendations on how communicators can take advantage of opportunities in public thinking and avoid challenges. The three reports are: "Building Opportunity into Adolescence," "One Half of the Story," and "Amplifying Positive Frames." FrameWorks also offers an Executive Summary of the three reports’ findings. Read more about and get links to each report in the latest Reframing Network Newsletter.
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