April 9, 2020
Meeting Online; Grants Available; Northampton Nonprofits Nix PILOTs

March 17, 2020 — Virus crisis forces Essex Co. Community Foundation institute online... Nonprofits with ideas for 21st century workers invited to apply for $150K... Boston area nonprofits asked to apply for urban development grant... Northampton nonprofits say 'no' to PILOT program.

Virus Crisis Forces Essex Co. Community Foundation Institute Online

ORG The rapidly unfolding coronavirus crisis led Danvers-based Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) to change last Saturday's annual Institute for Trustees, for which 315 nonprofit executive directors, board members and volunteers had registered, from an in-person event to an online webinar.

One hundred seventy people joined the online video conference for a virtual kick-off, which, according to Carol Lavoie Schuster, ECCF vice president for grants and services was well received.

The keynote address and related in-person networking session has been put off until July. In the meantime, all 21 workshop presenters have agreed to host their online sessions, scheduled from March 24 through April 1.

Boston Area Nonprofits Asked to Apply for Urban Development Grant

A class of Boston University business students calling themselves QST Philanthropy recently announced they are providing an opportunity to an unrestricted $10,000 grant to a charitable organization in the local Boston area working on sustainable urban development.

Grantees must have headquarters or an office located within 10 miles Boston, annual revenues of $5 million or less, and their impact and/or beneficiaries must be in Massachusetts. Priority will be given to organizations and/or projects that promote social justice.

Deadline to apply: March 20. Details.

Nonprofits with Ideas for 21st Century Workers Invited to Apply for $150K

Massachusetts nonprofits with innovative ideas regarding support workers need to realize their aspirations for themselves, their families, and communities are being invited to apply to share in $150,000 to support workers in the 21st century economy.

The Innovation Fund will provide award winners with $150,000 and support over 12 months to test their idea's potential for growth relating, but not limited to: transportation or transit access to work, physical or mental health and well-being; communication between workers on a single worksite or across sites; protection against wage theft and exploitative conditions; streamlined access to safety net supports and protections in the case of hardship or retirement; access to training, education, and transition services; and work stability and quality.

Deadline to apply: April 8. Details.

Northampton Nonprofits Say 'No' to PILOT Program

Four years after Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz asked 10 large local nonprofits to make voluntary payments to the city in lieu of taxes, called a PILOT program, only one, Historic Northampton, which hosts programs, exhibits, and public projects relating to the city's history, did so ”“ once.

Hampshire Regional YMCA, Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Smith College all declined to join the PILOT program agreements, citing the community services they provide to other donations they make, according to a report in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The Hill Institute, Northampton Community Arts Trust, and Lathrop Home also reportedly declined to participate without giving a reason.

Narkewicz had proposed a gradually increasing set of payments until they reached 5% of what the nonprofit’s property tax would be on their exempt properties, with the first $1 million of property value being exempt.

Boston instituted a PILOT program in 2011 focused on nonprofits that own property valued in excess of $15 million. It asks these larger nonprofits to contribute 25% of what they would be paying if their properties were on the tax rolls. Institutions can offset 50% of their payment with a “community benefit” that is supposed to target residents of the city. In fiscal 2019, 47 major educational, medical, and cultural Boston-based nonprofits paid $34.2 million in cash and gave $52.5 million in benefits to the city in the previous year, or 79% of the amount requested in lieu of property taxes.

Nonprofits by law are exempt from paying federal, state, and local taxes.

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