Nonprofits aim to get their issues on mayoral candidates’ agendas

Mayoral candidate Shaun Donovan in City Hall Park.
Mayoral candidate Shaun Donovan in City Hall Park.
Kay Dervishi
Mayoral candidate Shaun Donovan appears at a rally calling for more support for the nonprofit sector.

Nonprofits aim to get their issues on mayoral candidates’ agendas

Organizations and people they've helped called for better pay for human services workers and full funding of contracts.
May 27, 2021

Nonprofits lack the political influence of other industries and sectors in New York City. Unlike businesses, for example, they are legally restricted from making political endorsements or contributions to candidates for public office. But within the bounds of the law, local organizations have increasingly been trying to ensure nonprofits’ needs aren’t forgotten in the city’s mayoral race. 

At a rally held yesterday in City Hall Park, nonprofit leaders and people they serve called on mayoral candidates to take on three broad priorities to support the sector: collaborate with the nonprofit sector when developing programs; fully fund contracts; and improve pay for human services workers.

The two candidates who showed up to the event – Shaun Donovan and Kathryn Garcia – both expressed support. Donovan explicitly said he would commit to all three requests if elected, adding that he would also ensure they would have resources to grow. Referencing his work as a board member at an organization that helps connect nonprofit leaders to experts in the private sector, he said: “We’ve been reaching out to nonprofits to make sure you’re not just getting paid, you’re not just getting your indirect rate, but that we’re actually supporting you in ways that can ensure that … you’re growing, you have the working capital, you can invest in your leadership and staff and board.”

Garcia, who previously headed the city Department of Sanitation, said the problems that plague city-funded nonprofits would be non-starters for businesses her agency worked with. “I was actually quite surprised that in the service sector, they don’t register your contracts, because they don’t let you do that in the lines of work that I was in,” she said. “They don’t deliver the salt if they’re not getting paid.”

A notable absence at the rally was Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit executive who previously served on the board of the Human Services Council, which helped organize the event. She was originally slated to attend, but her campaign has recently been plagued by departures of senior staff.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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