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New Jersey Nonprofits: Trends and Outlook 2022

May 3, 2022

The New Jersey Center for Nonprofits conducted its annual survey of New Jersey nonprofits online from February 25-March 14, 2022 to assess how nonprofits fared in 2021 and to gauge their outlook for the coming year. This report is based on the 225 online responses from New Jersey 501(c)(3) organizations submitted during the survey period.Nonprofits overall have clearly experienced some key improvements since the worst of the pandemic in 2020. However, a number of significant challenges and opportunities remain.Demands for services and rising expenses are still outpacing funding – a longstanding problem with deep ramifications for delivery of programs and services in our communities.Nonprofits are struggling with significant workforce shortages that threaten their ability to meet community needs.Nonprofits also weighed in with their observations about the funding practices of their philanthropic partners, revealing significant opportunities to improve these vital relationships.Incorporating diversity and equity as a permanent and intentional part of all aspects of nonprofit work remains critically important.

State Constitutions and Abortion Rights: Building Protections for Reproductive Autonomy

April 22, 2022

This report outlines 11 states in which high courts have recognized that their state constitutions protect abortion rights and access independently from and more strongly than the U.S. Constitution or have struck down restrictions that were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The analysis considers how this jurisprudence can expand and shape efforts to secure reproductive rights.

New Jersey Executive Order 83: Preventing Gun Violence through the Power of Procurement

January 11, 2022

State and local executives can — and must — act decisively to ensure that firearm sellers, distributors, and manufacturers adopt safe business practices that prevent guns from being diverted to the illegal market. In 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy did just that when he exercised his procurement powers to issue Executive Order 83 (EO 83), a policy designed to guarantee that firearm industry businesses and financial institutions providing services to the state are committed to gun safety principles. Toward that end, New Jersey state offices sent Requests for Information (RFIs) to the state's firearms and finance vendors to assess their commitment to public safety principles.Brady subsequently submitted open records requests for the vendor responses to these RFIs, and our analysis of their content found that EO 83 was successful both in promoting gun safety and laying a strong foundation for future action on its behalf. The firearms industry responses show how seriously different vendors approach their obligation to minimize the public safety risks posed by guns — information which can be used to better inform the state's procurement decisions. The responses from the finance industry revealed that merely sending an RFI to its members can promote gun safety by giving them good reason to assess their approach to working with the gun industry, educate their executives on gun safety, and even adopt new policies regarding their relationships with gun industry clients.This report shows how EO 83 established a broad foundation for future actions that will further advance the state's commitment to gun violence prevention, providing concrete recommendations to state and local executives around the country who wish to replicate and expand on New Jersey's landmark approach to procurement and gun safety. With the epidemic of gun violence claiming more than 40,000 lives a year, states should focus on measures they can take to promote legal compliance and safe business practices by leveraging their procurement powers — a life-saving, indeed necessary, tool that should be adopted by every state in the nation. This is particularly true in the current national climate, where a few states, such as Texas, are implementing regressive policies that seek to dissuade financial institutions from adopting gun safety strategies. If more jurisdictions follow New Jersey's lead, however, the industry will face mounting pressure to adopt practices that ensure compliance with the law and protect public safety, leading to less gun violence and more saved lives. 

English Learners in New Jersey: Exposing Inequities and Expanding Opportunities in the Wake of the Pandemic

November 16, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shift to virtual learning brought into sharp relief the inequities that English Learners (ELs) experience in New Jersey's public education system. Despite tremendous work on the part of educators, parents, and other caregivers to provide continuity of learning during this time, their efforts were hindered by school districts that fell short of meeting their obligations under New Jersey's Bilingual Education Code - the state regulations governing EL education - before and during the pandemic, and by a lack of sufficient guidance, support, and enforcement from the State, including shortcomings in the Code itself.The aim of this report is to identify EL-specific needs and rights within New Jersey's education system; understand whether schools are meeting these needs and respecting these rights; and, where they are not, make appropriate policy recommendations.

Essential and Excluded: How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Impacting Immigrant Families

February 23, 2021

Between April and November 2020, organizers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and North Carolina had in-depth conversations with over 900 primarily Latinx immigrants—including nearly 400 undocumented community members. While capturing different moments of the pandemic, important issues facing immigrant communities were surfaced across the surveys.

Rapid Response Survey #2: The COVID-19 Crisis and New Jersey’s Non-Profit Community

April 1, 2020

From April 3-7, 2020, the Center for Non-Profits, in partnership with the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, conducted a second rapid response survey to gauge the evolving effects of the novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak on New Jersey's charitable non-profits and the vital programs and services they provide. This was a follow-up to the survey we conducted in mid-March of 2020. Nearly 350 organizations responded to this second survey.

Rapid Response Survey: The COVID-19 Crisis and New Jersey’s Non-Profit Community

March 1, 2020

From March 13-17, 2020, the Center for Non-Profits, in partnership with the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, conducted a rapid response survey to gauge the initial and anticipated effects of the novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak on New Jersey's charitable non-profits and the vital programs and services they provide. More than 700 organizations responded to the survey.

Parents And Children Thriving Together: A Framework For Two-Generation Policy And System Reform

January 1, 2020

This brief explores the lessons learned from the 2016 Parents and Children Thriving Together: Two Generation State Policy Network (PACTT Network), a collaboration between the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Through this initiative, five states explored how to use the two-generation approach to improve their state systems that serve children and parents. This brief summarizes the lessons learned from the two-year initiative and provides a framework to help guide state leaders trying to implement two-generation strategies.

Voters in largest Northeast, Mid-Atlantic states are open to new policy to reduce transportation emissions

December 1, 2019

Over the course of this year, the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a collaboration between 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic state and the District of Columbia, have been designing a new policy to curb carbon pollution from transportation. Key details are yet to be decided, but in broad strokes, the program would cap the amount of pollution from transportation in the region. Over time, that cap would decrease. Fuel distributors would have to pay for the pollution their fuels produce by buying allowances. The funds generated from the sale of those allowances would be distributed to the states participating in the program to invest in cleaner and better transportation options.As these states finalize the details of the program, new polling finds broad public support for the concept. The MassINC Polling Group conducted simultaneous surveys of registered voters in the seven largest TCI states: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.This report highlights key findings from the polling. Full topline results for the region and each state are appended to this report. Crosstabular results for the region each state surveyed are available online.

Field Notes: Equity & State Climate Policy

September 5, 2019

For more than a decade, states and cities across the country have served a leadership role in advancing science-informed climate policy through city, state and multi-state efforts. The rapid pace by which state climate policy is emerging is evidenced by the number of new laws, directives and policies adopted in 2018 and the first half of 2019 alone. Currently, there is an active ongoing dialogue across the U.S. regarding the intersection of climate and equity objectives with efforts targeted at addressing needs of disadvantaged communities and consumers. This climate/equity intersection is due to several factors, including recognition by many cities and states that climate change is and will continue to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations and will exacerbate existing stressors faced by disadvantaged communities and consumers. Research indicates that a greater proportion of environmental burden exists in geographic areas with majority populations of people of color, low-income residents, and/or indigenous people. It is well known that certain households (including some that are low-income, African American, Latino, multi-family and rural) spend a larger portion on their income on home energy costs. States and stakeholders are realizing that a transition to a low-carbon future by mid-century will require significantly increased participation of disadvantaged communities and households in the benefits of climate and clean energy programs.

Assault Weapons, Mass Shootings, and Options for Lawmakers

March 22, 2019

The focus of this brief is assault-style rifles, the new gun control measures passed in the U.S. at the end of 2018, the little to no action taken by the federal government, and actions taken by individual states to ban and regulate the sale and possession of assault-style weapons.

New Jersey’s ReHEET (Residential Health, Energy, and Environmental Transformation)

January 1, 2019

Isles, Inc. operates a project called ReHEET (Residential Health, Energy and Environmental Transformation) with funding from the New Jersey Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC). ReHEET was created to pilot the joint provision of weatherization, structural repair, and healthy homes services in Trenton. The program collaborates with community groups to identify old, substandard, leaky homes in the Trenton region. It tests and repairs occupied homes for energy and health hazards. ReHEET received funding from 2010-2016 and completed 179 units over this period.