The Urban Institute released its state-specific data from a national survey documenting the serious and widespread problems experienced by nonprofit organizations that have contracts and grants with governments at the local, state, and federal levels on May 15, 2014. The report, National Study of Nonprofit-Government Contracts and Grants 2013: State Profiles, provides essential nationwide and Utah data on contracting practices, and ranks states on several areas of concern to individuals in need of services, to taxpayers, and to entire communities.
“While the Urban Institute report indicates that Utah’s contracting system stacks up relatively well when compared with other states, this does not mean that our system is without problems,” said Chris Bray, Executive Director of Utah Nonprofits Association. “Improving the system for the benefit of the people of Utah is the responsibility of nonprofits and policymakers, and together we have the opportunity to develop solutions to better serve citizens and communities.
State and local government in Utah should consider grant application process reform to solve the difficulties local nonprofits have had in applying for and obtaining vital grant money which provides valuable services and programs to our communities.
UNA looks forward to working with state and local government officials and nonprofit leaders to further analyze the report findings and strengthen the government-nonprofit partnership,” said Bray. "We join our colleagues at the National Council of Nonprofits and others participating in this nationwide reform effort in saying to our partners in state and local government here in Utah that we look forward to working with you to identify the problems that need solving immediately, to craft the appropriate solutions, and to take action to get them implemented."
Research provided by the Urban Institute reflects the challenges NPOs have had with the application process, and how these difficulties have ultimately had a negative impact on staff, clients and the community. In fact, NPOs in Utah reported a 44% decline in revenues from federal government agencies. In addition, the research also reflects a 37% decline in state government agency revenues, and a 36% drop from local government agencies. In this same time period smaller NPOs (operating budgets $100,000 - $249,999) reported a dramatic 33% increase in overall expenditures. Coupling the expenditure increases with government agency funding on the decline has created a very dire situation for many organizations and those they serve.
“As a member based organization, the Utah Nonprofits Association works to strengthen the Utah nonprofit community so that we may all work together to create a dynamic group of organizations that serve the various needs of our local and global community.”, explained Bray. “The Utah Nonprofit Association promotes strong and vibrant communities for all of Utah. To unify, strengthen and elevate Utah's nonprofits. As a leader in the nonprofit community we are dedicated to working with our federal, state and local government agencies to develop a viable solution for all parties, and to support sustainability for nonprofits across Utah.”
The Utah Nonprofits Association (UNA) is the umbrella membership association of nonprofit organizations in Utah. Incorporated in 1990, UNA was created by, and for, people who strive for a stronger, more professional nonprofit community in Utah. The current membership of UNA (statewide) includes over 650 nonprofit organizations and individual members.