February 20, 2020
Surprise; Overhead; Kids Give; Tax Update; Grants Available

December 17, 2019 — Catie's Closet gets surprise donation... Indirect nonprofit costs pegged at 29%... Worcester County youth grant $25K to local nonprofits for 20th time... Mass. charitable tax deduction to be restored.. Nonprofits invited to apply for grants to tackle big ideas.

Catie's Closet Gets Surprise Donation

Catie's Closet, a Dracut-based nonprofit that provides clothing and basic necessities to students living in poverty, got a surprise donation of $10,000 from a Kansas company that supports nonprofits in communities where the Kansas City Chiefs football team plays.

GEHA donated the funds in connection with the Dec. 10 game hosted by the New England Patriots, which the Chiefs won, 23-16.

“Because we’re here in Boston for the Patriots-Chiefs game, we thought we would come out and help a nonprofit agency that also helps the community,” said Dianna Sleyster, corporate social responsibility manager for GEHA, quoted in a CBS report. "We had a great time today helping them sort the clothes for the needy children so we were so excited to be out here so that we could give back to the Boston area community."

Mickey Cockrell, executive director of Catie's Closet, was quoted saying the donation would help provide cold weather gear for 2,000 Boston school students.

Indirect Nonprofit Costs Pegged at 29%

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation yesterday announced that, based on an analysis of 130,000 nonprofits, found that those organizations typically incur overhead costs equal to 29% of their total operating costs. This was the minimum indirect cost rate for financially healthy organizations, which includes costs associated with finance and accounting, human resources, bank fees, board meetings, and fundraising.

"Our hope is that the collective efforts of several funders committed to examining the true cost of project grants and working to destigmatize and correct misconceptions regarding overhead expenses will lead to more funders adopting similar approaches," said foundation president John Palfrey.

Nonprofit overhead rates have been a hotly debated issue in recent years. Dan Pallotta, president of the Charity Defense Council, a Topsfield-based nonprofit that seeks to educate the public to focus on results from nonprofits instead of overhead, maintains that donors who focus on what share of donations goes to the cause vs. overhead "makes you think that overhead is not part of the cause, that overhead steals from the cause.”

Worcester County Youth Grant $25K to Local Nonprofits for 20th Time

Youth for Community Improvement (YCI), a program of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation that teaches local high students about philanthropy, recently announced it has awarded $25,320 in grants to 14 area nonprofits. This was the YCI's twentieth year of grantmaking. Receiving grants were:
  • African Community Education, Express Yourself for Boys, $2,000
  • Boys & Girls Club of Worcesterr, Leadership Club College Tour $1,000
  • Hope Coalition, Youth Parent Dialogues $1,500
  • Main IDEA, Teen Arts Leadership Program, $1,000
  • Massachusetts Audubon Society/Broad Meadow Brook, Youth Climate Summit, $2,000
  • Nativity School of Worcester, Food Pantry $250
  • Pernet Family Health Service, Youth-Led Outings for Families $3,000
  • Regional Environmental Council, YouthGROW $850, and UGROW School Gardens, $2,000
  • Rise Above Foundation, Young Adult Advisory Council, $2,000
  • The Shine Initiative, Worcester Youth Wellness Summit $2,500
  • Tasks for Transit, Bus Passes for Students, $250
  • Worcester Youth Center, Sexual Health Education Program $3,000
  • Worcester State University, Housing & Gentrification Study, $1,500
  • Working for Worcester, Recreation Projects, $2,500

Mass. Charitable Tax Deduction to Be Restored...in 2021

Massachusetts taxpayers who make a contribution in calendar year 2021 will be able to deduct those donations from their 2022 state tax returns, thanks to a change in tax laws that reinstate the deduction. Currently, donations to charity are only deductible on federal income taxes.

The change is part of a law passed in 2002 that decreases the income tax rate to 5% on Jan. 1, 2020, from the current 5.05%.

“Most of the people who give to nonprofits in Massachusetts are middle- and low-income earners. The state deduction will benefit hundreds of thousands of them each year. We need to support and promote charitable giving," said Jim Klocke, chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the state's nonprofit trade association.

He added, “Individual contributions are the lifeblood of the nonprofit sector. Individual contributions to nonprofits are three times as great as the funds given by foundations and corporations combined.”

Nonprofits Invited to Apply for Grants to Tackle Big Ideas

The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley in Boston has issued a call for proposals from nonprofits in its service area to tackle "a big problem in a new way."

Four awards of up to $75,000 each will be made following a competitive, juried selection process.

Nonprofits in the United Way's service area are invited to proposed innovative, collaborative approaches to achieving any of the following goals:
  • All individuals have safe, permanent, affordable housing
  • All adults have jobs that allow them to support themselves and their families
  • All adults are able to meet their basic needs and achieve a state of financial wellbeing
  • All children enter kindergarten ready to learn
  • All youth graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and/or careers
The United Way's service area is Greater Boston, Merrimack Valley, North Shore, Seacoast Region, South Shore, and Greater Attleboro and Taunton.

Deadline submit a letter of intent: Dec. 31. Details.

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