A bi-weekly update from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.                                        

CommInsightsYear in Review: 2017 with the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
The end of the year always brings with it a moment to reflect. At MNN, we're taking stock of a full 2017, as well as looking ahead to a 2018 that builds on our work to unite and strengthen the nonprofit sector through advocacy, public awareness, and capacity-building. Here are just a few of the things we've been up to this year:

We built up our offering of member benefits to include a diverse array of cost-savings and tools, including the Commonwealth Stats data tool (pictured left), state unemployment tax insurance savings, quarterly public policy calls, and more.

We raised public awareness of the strength and vitality of the Massachusetts nonprofit sector and convened the sector's collective mind-share to discuss pressing issues. 2017's Nonprofit Awareness Day, Annual Conference, and Regional Meetings were among the most well-attended ever.

Working at the local, state, and federal, levels, we advanced positions in support of our members and nonprofits in Massachusetts through four Policymaker Roundtables, calls-to-action on matters  ranging from state health care assessments on nonprofits to federal tax reform, and three Commonwealth Insights reports.

With 2017 coming to a close, there has never been a more exciting time to join MNN as a member. Start the new year with access to the resources, confidence, and collective voice that will help your organization thrive in 2018 and beyond. Click here to learn more about nonprofit membership.

Federal Policy Update: Tax Reform
The U.S. House and Senate have both now passed tax bills. A formal conference committee to work on the differences between the House and Senate bills has been appointed and is scheduled to meet in open session on Wednesday, December 13, although senior Republican leaders have reportedly been working together to settle the remaining issues.

Both bills would impose multiple new taxes on tax-exempt charitable and philanthropic organizations to pay for additional tax cuts. Neither the House or Senate included a universal deduction to counter the expected drop in giving to charitable organizations due to the doubling of the standard deduction and the reduction of itemizers. The House-passed bill, but not the Senate version, includes Section 5201 that would significantly weaken the longstanding protections under the Johnson Amendment that currently keeps politics out of nonprofits while, for the first time, providing charitable tax deductions for political campaign contributors. Our colleagues at the National Council of Nonprofits prepared a great  Comparison Chart with additional information about how the two bills would affect nonprofits.

Today, MNN joined its colleagues  United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and Catholic Charities of Boston in issuing a joint statement outlining our concerns about the impact of increasing the federal standard deduction on charitable giving.

We continue to be very concerned about Section 5201 and the impact a Johnson Amendment repeal would have on our sector. Last week we sent a letter to Congressman Neal, focusing on the harmful Johnson Amendment language in the House bill and requesting that he work with his fellow conferees to ensure that the final conference report does not include any language weakening the Johnson Amendment.
2017 Light of Dawnn Award winners with Dawnn's parents.
Those who work at nonprofits doing front-line, direct-service work are everyday champions. To honor the legacy of Dawnn Ashley Jaffier, one of these champions who was tragically lost to senseless gun violence in 2014, we are honored to team up with the Highland Street Foundation in presenting the 2018 Light of Dawnn Awards. Now in their fourth year, the Light of Dawnn Awards honor nonprofit professionals who demonstrate compassion and an unwavering commitment to serve those in need. Through these awards, we hope to highlight nonprofit employees that may not have prominent or externally-facing roles. 

Click  here   to submit a nomination by Friday, January 5, 2018.  

The 2017 Light of Dawnn Awards were presented last year to Dawnmarie Salmons of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, Juan Manuel Cantu of Hyde Square Task Force, and Tha Thai of Roca, Inc. Read more about them here.

MNN members are invited to join us today for our first members-only quarterly public policy call today at 11:00 am. On this call, we will be discussing three items: (1) federal tax reform; (2) the employer health care assessment; and (3) a Massachusetts State House round-up. The call will last 30 minutes. Register here.

The public policy calls are the latest addition to a full listing of advocacy benefits received by members, including access to an in-house Director of Government Affairs, Policymaker Roundtables, events featuring prominent elected and appointed officials, and regular advocacy updates on federal, state, and local issues. Learn more about our policy work here.
Expanding Benefits as an Employee Retention Tool Just Got Easier 
by State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg

One of every organization's most valuable assets are the people who work there. With more rapid changes brought about by the increased use of technology, and improvements in the national and local economies that translate into more competitive job markets, keeping your most talented employees has never been more challenging. Even with the nonprofit sector, it is critical to offer employees compelling benefits to remain and work for the causes they care about. This environment means your organization should do more, and we have a tool that can help.  Read more.
webinarsFree Wednesday Webinars

How to Conduct an Organizational Conflict Assessment
In this webinar, MNN member  The Mediation Group will ask attendees important questions: "Is unnecessary conflict eating up your time? Are your employees stressed? Is morale low? Do you wish you could get everyone rowing in the same direction?" During this interactive webinar, attendees will learn how to take the pulse of their organizations so they can begin to understand the source of these challenges. Attendees will take away some easy tips to help employees feel valued, listened to, and respected in times of conflict.  Register here.

Building Objective Evidence about the Impact of Social Programs
The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), a nonpartisan research center at the University of Notre Dame, will provide an overview of objective vs. other types of evidence building, describe key features of objective evaluations, present a real-world evidence building case study, and answer  questions. Following the webinar, interested agencies will have an opportunity to connect with LEO for an introductory call and project consultation. At this time, where there is a viable evidence-building project, LEO does not require a fee for service. To learn more about LEO, please visit leo.nd.eduRegister here.

Director of Major Gifts, Cradles to Crayons
Community Program Specialist, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts
Director of Facilities, Community Action of Franklin, Hampshire, & North Quabbin Region
Development Director, Political Research Associates
Chief Development Officer, International Institute of New England
Executive Director, Massachusetts Land Trust Coalitoin
Development and Events Coordinator, First Literacy, Inc.
Development Manager, Medicines for Humanity
Chief Executive Officer, TSNE MissionWorks
Membership Director, Institute for Clinical and Economic Review
Communications Director, Corporate Accountability 
Vice President of Development, Entrepreneurship for All
Director of Individual Giving, United South End Settlements
Vice President of Human Resources, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
Interview/Match Support Specialist, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MA/Metrowest
Senior Residential Manager, Western Massachusetts Training Consortium
Program Manager, Institute for Clinical and Economic Review
Major Gifts Officer, New Hampshire Public Radio
Director of Philanthropy, The Option Institute
Manager of Annual Fund and Events, Foundation for MetroWest
Director of Institutional Advancement, IBA - Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción

EPIC (Empowering People for Inclusive Communities) works to build leadership skills and experience for young people with disabilities by engaging them in community projects and leadership development workshops through their signature program, EPIC  Service Warriors. Service Warriors are youth ages 16 to 23 with disabilities who make a one year commitment to monthly community service projects and regular leadership development workshops. Through these commitments, Service Warriors gain self-advocacy, independence skills, and the technical experience and knowledge to help them achieve their personal goals. Applications for the next Service Warriors team are due January 31, 2018. The application can be accessed  here .

Sandler Training is an international training and development organization dedicated to empowering organizations and individuals with the ability to achieve both professional and personal growth through their sales, management, and leadership development programs. Sandler is now accepting applications from nonprofit organizations in the Boston area for a $35,000 scholarship for professional development training through its affiliate, Praxis Growth Advisors, Inc. The scholarship will include one full year of their award-winning Strategic Management Solutions Program, one full year of their award-winning Sales Mastery Professional Development Program, their Advanced Communication Dynamics Workshop, Cold Call Boot Camp, and Referral Growth Program. Applications will be accepted online  here until December 31, 2017 . The top three applicants will be interviewed in January by Sandler Training staff; the winner will be announced by  January 31, 2018

Kevin York Communications, a marketing communications agency, is now accepting applications from nonprofits to be their 2018 pro bono client. The client will be assisted with a project that will help advance their marketing and communications program and leave a mark on their audience. The client will have the same access to the agency's resources and staff as a paying client would. Past pro bono clients include Fathers' Uplift, First Teacher, and InnerCity Weightlifting. Applications will be accepted until December 15, 2017. For more information on the application process, click here.

The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) is a nonpartisan research center established in 2012 at the University of Notre Dame. LEO works with nonprofit and government agencies across the country interested in generating objective evidence about the impact of programs designed to reduce poverty and improve lives. Areas of interest include housing, health, education, criminal justice, self-sufficiency, child welfare, and seniors, among others. At this time, where there is a viable evidence-building project, LEO does not require a fee for service. To learn more about LEO and their current projects/partnerships, please visit  here

The Bridgespan Group is working with six local funders to provide  Leading for Impact®, an innovative capacity building program, to nonprofits in the Boston area. Leading for Impact® is a city-based consulting program designed to help ambitious nonprofits pursue strategic opportunities and build capacity to both improve their performance over time and achieve greater, local impact. Through Leading for Impact®, Bridgespan will help accelerate the impact of 50 high-potential nonprofit organizations in the Boston area through 2021. They will be launching cohorts of eight to nine organizations every six months, and  Bridgespan is currently enrolling for the cohort that will start in December 2017. This program is best suited for organizations that are working to increase social mobility in the greater Boston area and that have executive teams of four to six individuals. Please see the  list of organizations that have participated in the program. Click here to learn more.

New & Returning 
Nonprofit Members

- Pasand

MNN's work is made possible by the Barr Foundation, The Boston Foundation & the Highland Street Foundation.
If you'd like to share a story or have a job, grant or other information that is important to Massachusetts nonprofits, contact  info@massnonprofitnet.org.