LA County Board of Supervisors Approves Resolution to Improve Nonprofit Service by Covering ‘Reasonable’ Cost of Service
Reforms Will Help Maximize Impact of Nonprofit Programs Supported by Government Funding
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 3 unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis to strengthen nonprofit service in the County by supporting the implementation of new federal rules governing how government agencies reimburse nonprofits for the full cost of their work. The motion was co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
“Los Angeles County is home to more nonprofits than any county in our country, and they play a vital role in our communities,” Supervisor Solis said. “Nonprofits provide critical services, including health care, human services and housing assistance, that help many of our neediest residents. By ensuring we are covering the full and reasonable cost of their services, we can in turn help our nonprofit partners better serve their constituents and fulfill their important and irreplaceable missions.”
Under the motion, County Chief Executive Sachi Hamai will provide an implementation strategy to the Board within 120 days, consult with leaders from County nonprofits in developing the new guidelines, and send a letter signed by all five supervisors urging State leadership on the federal rules. The action by the Board of Supervisors is the first of its kind in the country.
“I also hope that other local governments will see what we are doing as a model of how these new rules can be effectively implemented,” Solis said. “This is an opportunity for nonprofits and governments to work together to solve long standing problems that frustrate us all.”
The new federal rules were released in December 2014 by the Federal Office of Management and Budget, following a year-long review of federal contracting and grantmaking practices. Known as the OMB Uniform Guidance, it merged eight different sets of rules and is intended to provide consistency throughout all levels of government. In addition to easing administrative burdens, increasing accountability and strengthening oversight of how government dollars are invested, the OMB Uniform Guidance also requires government agencies that contract with nonprofits to reimburse them for reasonable indirect costs.
“I congratulate the Board of Supervisors for taking this critical step,” said Fred Ali, President and CEO of the Weingart Foundation. “These new rules provide significant reforms to federal grantmaking and contracting, including making sure that nonprofits receive more support for the real cost of their services. This lack of direct and indirect administrative cost support too often keeps nonprofits from building the infrastructure necessary to achieve the outcomes that will help those in our community who are most in need.”
In the year since the release of the Uniform Guidance, Weingart Foundation, the California Association of Nonprofits and the State’s three leading regional grantmaking associations have collaborated together on a campaign called the California Full Cost Initiative. Its goals are to educate funders and nonprofits about the changes in the Uniform Guidance and explore ways to develop new grantmaking practices based on the real cost of delivering meaningful and sustainable outcomes.
“This is an important opportunity to make meaningful, lasting change in how government and private funders support the critically important work of nonprofits throughout Los Angeles and the State,” Ali said.
Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits, noted that facilitating greater collaboration between nonprofits and their funders is essential.
“Working together, governments and nonprofits are able to address needs in our society that they can’t tackle alone,” Masaoka said. “Today’s action by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors ultimately will increase the effectiveness of nonprofits and ensure that public money has the greatest, most positive impact in our communities.”
The action by the Board of Supervisors comes following the recent release of a report by the Urban Institute that highlights the significant problems California nonprofits face when managing multiple government and private contracts and grants, including routine underpayment of the full cost of the work.
The report noted that about seven in 10 nonprofits in California say the government funding they receive fails to cover the real cost of their services, according to the report, which also finds more than 5,000 nonprofits receive an estimated $14 billion in government contracts and grants each year – more than the annual budgets of 18 states. Other findings in the new report include:
• Nonprofits face four additional challenges: complex application requirements; time-consuming and duplicative reporting requirements; changes to already approved contracts and grants; and late payments for services rendered.
• As a result of these challenges, nonprofits are forced to subsidize their contracts with dollars from other sources (often individual fundraising). They can be forced to offer low pay for staff, particularly for administrative positions, making it difficult to recruit and retain skilled and experienced staff. Or, they may sacrifice investments in technology, reducing productivity and effectiveness. The full report from the Urban Institute is available here. To read Supervisor Solis’ motion, click here.
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis Statement on Fairgrounds Audit
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement after she read her Fairplex motion during the Nov. 3 Board of Supervisors meeting:
“Over the past several months, the Fairgrounds in Pomona, a County-owned property, has received an increasing amount of scrutiny after two women died at a concert on this property this summer. As a result, the County has initiated a full review of this matter and has created a task force to ensure that public safety remains a high priority.
In addition to public health and safety concerns, we must ensure that the Fairplex is managed appropriately. With lease negotiations underway, it is an appropriate time for the County to fully review its relationship with the Fair Association, including its operations and events held on the property.
My motion directs the Auditor-Controller to conduct an audit of the Fair Association’s financial operations, including all funding sources and revenue streams. The audit will also review the Fairgrounds’ operations to ensure that the public good remains its focus and mission. My motion also requests a report back to the Board of Supervisors within 120 days.”
To read her motion, click here.
East Los Angeles
L.A. Care Selects White Memorial Family Health Center for $100,000 Grant to Continue Helping the Most Needy
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis praises the L.A. Care Health Plan for selecting White Memorial Medical Center (WMMC) Charitable Foundation for a $100,000 grant so that patients without health coverage can continue receiving medical treatment.
“We all want patients to continue receiving health care in an environment that values each person culturally and linguistically. White Memorial and doctors like Hector Flores do just that every day,” said Supervisor Solis at a Nov. 4 press conference.
“Thank you all for your commitment and dedication to our community.”
L.A. Care awarded the WMMC Charitable Foundation a $100,000 grant so that the WMMC Family Medicine Residency Program’s clinic, under the direction of Dr. Hector Flores, could continue providing high-quality health care to families with limited access to medical care. The WMMC Family Medicine Residency Program is based at White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles.
Following the closure of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital in 2007, seven nearby medical facilities began seeing more patients in absence of a South Los Angeles community hospital. White Memorial was one of those seven facilities. More than 2,000 patients now rely on White Memorial for their medical care.
Established in 1997, L.A. Care Health Plan is an independent local public agency created by the state of California to provide health coverage to low-income Los Angeles County residents. L.A. Care is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan and serves more than 1.8 million members in five health plans.
Supervisor Solis values L.A. Care’s dedication to serving the community and congratulates the White Memorial Medical Center for its outstanding work in meeting the needs of Los Angeles County residents.
San Gabriel Valley
Staying Engaged with the Puente Hills Park Master Plan
Through the Puente Hills Landfill Master Plan, the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation plans to convert about 115 acres within the former landfill into a regional park.
The Sanitation District of Los Angeles County owns the 1,365-acre Puente Hills Landfill. The regional park would be constructed and managed by the County Department of Parks and Recreation. Internal trash accumulated from past decades is expected to decompose, settle, and reduce in height by as much as 120 feet over the next 30 years.
Three community meetings have been organized so far. The public is welcomed to attend an open house to further discuss the preferred park concept on Nov. 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 1234 Valencia Ave. in Hacienda Heights. In January, a final park concept plan and environmental scoping meeting will take place.
The Puente Hills Landfill Park Master Plan is a complex planning project that has the opportunity to include panoramic views, trails and habitat restoration. However, the project also faces technical challenges that need to be considered.
For updates, visit the project’s website at http://www.puentehillslandfillpark.org. Download materials and share them with friends and neighbors. Thank you to all who have provided feedback, and if you have not had the chance, join us!
East Los Angeles
“Día de los Muertos” Celebration at East Los Angeles Civic Center
On Nov. 1, many gathered for the seventh annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration sponsored by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks & Recreation and Casa Cultural Saybrook.
The origins of “El Día de los Muertos” date back thousands of years - back to indigenous customs and observances. Families and friends gather to share prayer, food, music and fun with both the living and their departed loved ones.
Aztec dancers opened the festival and were followed by folklórico dancers who were accompanied by live music. An array of exhibitors sold handmade “Día de los Muertos” jewelry, arts and crafts.
Beautiful altars, known as “ofrendas,” were among the artistic highlights that evening. Local community groups and schools decorated each altar – which is a key aspect of El Día de los Muertos. All across Mexico and beyond, families honor their ancestors by creating altars decorated with personal items once cherished by their deceased loved ones.