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2/14/2017 » 3/21/2017
Nonprofit Finance Fund Winter Webinar Series (2017)

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John's Public Policy Blog
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John Baker, DANA's Executive Vice President of Policy & Programs, will be updating you on important public policy matters as they happen. He will also post about the activities of the Governor, Delaware's General Assembly, local issues, hearings & meetings, and legislation that relates to DANA's Public Policy Agenda.


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Top tags: Nonprofits  budget  Joint Finance Committee  General Assembly  Delaware  Grant-in-Aid  Governor  DEFAC  Workers Compensation  Insurance  Delaware Nonprofit Day  charitable solicitation  National Council of Nonprofits  Public Policy  revenue  Attorney General  Legislative Hall  Lt. Governor  Task force  charities  government  Healthcare  Office of Management and Budget  taxes  Wilmington  Advocacy  Affordable Care Act  Bond Bills  Congress  Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition 

Joint Finance Committee Started Hearings Tuesday January 31st and DANA Was There!

Posted By John Baker, Thursday, February 2, 2017

Joint Finance Committee Started Hearings Tuesday January 31st and DANA Was There!

Hot off the press to you, is this Office of Management & Budget presentation.  Much of it is the same as the 2018 Budget Presentation that we got to you mid-January.  It is important to note for those of you who receive “Pass-Throughs” that they are slotted to be cut by $594,300.00 (Page 19).  In our last Public Policy blog post we noted the other Agency cuts (Pages 15-16) and the Grant-In-Aid reductions (Page 20). Click here for that report.

The Senate “Special Election” to fill Lt. Governor Hall-Long’s seat is scheduled for February 25th.  This is important for the balance of that Chamber.

Governor Carney will release his revised “Financial Plan” following the March 20th DEFAC State Economic Forecast.  JFC scheduled to review week of 4/24. Here’s the Joint Finance Committee Calendar

We’re meeting with our U.S. Delegation to learn about and prepare for Federal changes – Sen. Coons – Jan 19th and Sen. Carper – February 6th. Congresswoman Blunt Rochester - Awaiting date.

Charitable Giving Incentives:

Sheila and I will be traveling to Washington D.C. on February 16th to meet with our U.S. Congress Members in support of Charitable Giving Incentives as the government looks to address the Federal Tax Code.  We’ll be joining with thousands of other Nonprofit and Foundation Leaders, Philanthropists, and other interested citizens.  If you’d like additional information let us know or search for it under:  “100 Years of Giving DC Fly-In”.

Governor’s Public Meetings:

Get your Board Members and other key volunteers to tell the Governor directly what cuts will mean to Delawareans you serve. Gov. Carney has made a pitch to the Delaware public: “Help me come up with some ideas.” "This is a challenge for all of us," Carney said. "The solution is going to be hard. But I'm confident we can do it."

Carney will attend a series of "community conversations" in locations throughout the state:

· Feb. 15 – Drip Café, Hockessin, 7:30 a.m.

· Feb. 21 – Drip Café, Hockessin, 8 a.m.

· Feb. 22 – Downtown Dover Partnership, 9 a.m.

· March 1 – Nanticoke Senior Center, Seaford, 9 a.m.

· April 5 – Café Gelato, Newark, 8 a.m.

The meetings will be held in the morning, around 7:30 to 8 a.m. Exact times will be available online. Lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, will join Carney. Residents can submit comments online at or send an email to

Join us for the Annual State Budget Update and Advocacy Warm-Up

Click the image above to register for this important update!

Tags:  Board Member  Budget  Calendar  DEFAC  Government  Governor 

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Governor Jack Markell Released his Recommended Budget

Posted By John Baker, Friday, January 13, 2017

Governor Jack Markell recently released his recommended budget, now Incoming Governor Carney, the Joint Finance Committee and General Assembly will work on the best final version between now and June 30th.

As always, we strive to get breaking news to you. So here are the latest 2018 Delaware State Budget resources you can use to be in the know.

DANA has been working on the financial challenges that face our Nonprofit Sector, meeting with our elected officials, engaging with the Governor Elects transition team to present the Nonprofit Sector’s perspective, and planning action now that the budget course is more clear. The Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition (DRSC) led by DANA along with Delaware Grantmakers Association, Delaware Community Foundation, United Way of Delaware, Ability Network of DE, the UD-CCRS, and AFP-Brandywine will be issuing it’s call to action that we can all organize around at the DANA Annual Budget Update on February 17th from 9-Noon, The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Hearings are through February (calendar here), the DANA Annual Conference is May 15th, and DANA’s Delaware Nonprofit Day is June 8th at The Mall Legislative Hall from 11am-1pm.

Key Dates:

January 31 - March 2: Joint Finance Committee Hearing begin – See link below

February 17: DANA Annual Budget Update & Advocacy Briefing 9 AM – Noon  

May 15: DANA Annual Conference with Governor Carney, U.S. Delegation and Cabinet Secretaries Invited

June 8: DANA Delaware Nonprofit Day at The Mall Legislative Hall Dover

Quick analysis:

The proposed Delaware State Budget presented to the General Assembly as House Bill 25 proposes to balance the $350 Million budget gap through $212 Million in new revenue (described in the budget presentation linked below) and Agency Base Budget Reduction cuts of $31.831 Million and Grant-In-Aid cuts of nearly $13 Million; $11 Million cut for “First Responders” and $2 Million for “Community-Service Nonprofits” (Total GIA 2017 $45.89 Mill.).  Of the Agency cuts the largest cuts are in DHSS at $9.419 Million, DSCYF (Kids) at $462,000, and DOE at $16.173 Million.  If you receive “Pass-Throughs” check them out too.  A note of good news – “Tobacco – Master Settlement Agreement” has been replenished by approximately $1.6 Million.

Secretary of Finance Tom Cook. “The revenue changes we propose adhere closely to the recommendations of the recent bipartisan revenue task force which established a blueprint for reshaping state revenues to better grow with the economy.”

In Governor Markell’s words:  Sustaining Responsible State Finances with Mix of Revenue Increases and Spending Reductions

This balanced plan takes key steps toward structurally resolving the budget deficit not only for Fiscal Year 2018, but also by better positioning Delaware for the future,” said Governor Markell

To close a $350 million shortfall and put the state on a path to sustainable budgets in the long-term, the proposal includes some increases in personal income tax by limiting deductions (we are exploring to better understand which ones) and raising the rate of the top tax bracket by 0.2 percent. In addition, the Governor recommends an adjustment to the corporate franchise tax (we also need to understand if this will impact NPOs), increasing the State assessment on realty transfer tax, and an increase in the cigarette tax. Details can be found in the administration’s budget presentation and total a $212 million increase for the coming fiscal year.

Get the Governor’s 2018 Budget Presentation and full budget HERE.

Get the NewsWorks Summary and article HERE.

Here’s the full State Budget.

Here’s the “Hot-Off-The-Press” Joint Finance Detailed Calendar of Hearings.


Know that DANA will be working on digesting this and engaging our Alliance…YOU!

You can always reach me at:

All the best - John

Tags:  budget  Delaware  Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition  Nonprofits  revenue 

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December DEFAC Update

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hi All,

Monday’s Delaware Economic Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) meeting revealed that their estimated "98% Appropriation" number is down by $33.7 Million. Increasing the already substantial gap between revenues and expenditures from September’s forecast of $167 Million to $201.1 Million. Adding to this the various cost drivers (school enrollment, medicaid, healthcare for state employees and other drivers), the gap climbs quickly. The News Journal today has put the number at $350 Million. that needs to be made up through new revenues and expense cuts.

Know that DANA has been providing the Delaware Nonprofit Sector's perspective to Governor Elect Carney's various transition committees and the overall transition team.

Meanwhile, the Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition (DRSC) of the nonprofit sector continues to meet. We have a full calendar of events to engage our elected officials, including:

•January 19 (anticipated) - Governor's State of the State 

•January 26 (anticipated) - Governor's Proposed Budget Presentation 

•February 17 - DANA Annual Budget Update, 9am-Noon in Georgetown

•February & March will be the JFC hearings

•March will have two Coalition member programs hosted by the Ability Network of Delaware  (details still to come)

•June 8th - NONPROFIT DAY in DOVER rally (Save the Date!)

•June will be focused on direct advocacy with our elected officials by nonprofits, boards, volunteers, and clients

Throughout the next six months, the Coalition will continue to reach out to you, as well as meet with General Assembly & JFC members to represent the nonprofit voice, our clients, and all Delawareans. Get the General Assembly / Legislative Calendar here:

We are all partners for a stronger Delaware. 

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at or 302-777-5500.

Thank you,

John Baker

Tags:  Budget  DEFAC  Delaware  Nonprofits  revenue 

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Vote Tuesday - Then OMB Budget Hearings Begin Wednesday November 9th

Posted By John Baker, Monday, November 7, 2016

Nonprofit Votes Matter – So vote on Tuesday, November 8th!!!

Then, if you haven’t already, checked the Delaware Office of Management and Budget calendar for the 2018 Budget Hearings and plan to attend and give public comment – limited to two minutes. Here’s the calendar:

Some Messaging Points:

We the Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition of the nonprofit sector agree upon the following points:

  • The Nonprofit Sector represents over 233,000 Delawareans that work and volunteer at Delaware Nonprofits.
  • The Nonprofit Sector, in partnership with state government, provides innovative, efficient, and effective services for all Delawareans.
  • Funding for the “Nonprofit Partners” line-item should be included in the Governor’s 2018 Budget.
  • No cuts should be made to contracts with Delaware nonprofits for services to Delawareans.
  • No more allocations should be added to the “Tobacco-Master Settlement Agreement, diluting remaining resources available for existing service providers.
  • Hold Grant-In-Aid level (FY2017 GIA Bill $45.9 Million).

The Nonprofit Forum on October 25th was a resounding success with over 75 nonprofit executives in attendance to engage in lively discussion with the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Drew Fennell, Delaware OMB’s Bert Scoglietti, the State Chamber’s James DeChene, DANA’s Sheila Bravo, The Ability Network of Delaware’s C. Thomas Cook, and United Way of Delaware’s Tyrone Jones…as well as your blogger…John. We heard from OMB’s Bert Scoglietti that with various cost drivers the budget gap will broadly exceed the September DEFAC forecast gap of $167 Million. This is a clarion call for you to mobilize your Board, Volunteers, and Friends to work with our Elected Officials to make the changes in funding that are needed to support the Life-Sustaining and Enriching Services that the Nonprofit Sector provides 24/7/365 to all Delawareans!

DANA and the Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition will be working on your behalf, but this is the year we need to mobilize all possible resources to get our message out and have our elected government officials and the public understand that we are partners, critical to the successful navigation of our State’s Fiscal Challenges.

Check out the ADVOCACY TOOLKIT here:

Advocacy Tool Kit Cover
2017 Toolkit
2017 Toolkit Part 2

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.orgor 302-777-5500.


Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition:
Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement
Ability Network of Delaware
Delaware Community Foundation
United Way of Delaware
Delaware Grantmakers Association
Association of Fundraising Professionals – Brandywine Chapter
University of Delaware Center for Community Research and Service
and the Delaware Nonprofit Sector


Tags:  Advocacy  Delaware  Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition  Government  Nonprofit  Vote 

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2018 May Well Be An Even More Challenging Year So Let’s Strengthen Our Relationships Now

Posted By John Baker, Monday, August 8, 2016
Updated: Sunday, August 7, 2016

By now I think we’ve all had a chance to catch our breath after the sprint to the end of the 148th General Assembly session.  Now let me keep the running sprint metaphor going as we enter nearly three weeks of the Rio 2016 XXXI Summer Olympics. While you’re watching the Olympics, it’s a great time to write out your thank you notes to the Joint Finance Committee and General Assembly members that supported your nonprofit mission in 2016. 

Take a moment to also send thank you notes to the cabinet secretaries of the departments that you contract with (Secs. Landgraf, Benson-Green and others), as well as other key government supporters and friends of your nonprofits mission.  As we continue to “Strengthen, Enhance, and Advance” the nonprofit sector we have big plans for building relationships with the elected and appointed government officials who are responsible for the largest proportion of nonprofit revenue, fee-for-service contracts/grants.

This is an important election year and the Fall is a time that you can cultivate your relationships with your key government contacts.  As you do with your individual and corporate donors, you can take this opportunity to thank your key government contacts and invite them to visit your facilities.  Enlist your board members, volunteers, staff, and clients to send simple thank you notes…a youth’s drawing and/or a few words from other clients can help tell your stories of successful outcomes to your key partners in government.  

Thanks again to our extraordinary legislators who went to bat for the nonprofit sector in a very tough budgetary year.

We’ve started with a full Summer of activities focused on the 2018 State Budget and funding.  We’re partnering with the Controller General’s office on the September 14, 22, & 27 Grant-In-Aid Training, The Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition is meeting in August, DANA is instituting the “Alliance Advocacy Advisory Council” of Nonprofit and Community thought and opinion leaders, and we’re meeting with the Office of Management and Budget’s new director, Brian Maxwell. We'll be meeting with the Cabinet Secretaries in August, and working to maintain our momentum and build our partnerships to strengthen contractual relationships and other funding sources for the important work you do in the nonprofit sector. Delaware’s a great place to live because of you and our strong partnerships, and is growing stronger everyday through our alliance.

Overtime and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Compliance is another priority for DANA, and we’ve heard you and know it is front-and-center of your minds, too.  We first updated you on this matter in the Winter, surveyed your input, and passed it along to the US Dept. of Labor and our Delaware Federal Delegation.  The DANA Training on September 28​, 29, 30, in Wilmington, Dover, and Georgetown, respectively is scheduled.  This Overtime & FLSA Training, with the assistance of the DE Dept. of Labor, and experts in the fields of Human Resources, Accounting, and Law, will help you plan your course forward and develop solutions.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at or 302-777-5500.


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Grant-In-Aid Bill Is Here

Posted By John Baker, Friday, July 1, 2016

Good news from the last day of the 148th Session of Delaware’s General Assembly: The Grant-In-Aid bill passed as presented and described in my blog from Tuesday. Check it out here.

Thanks again to our extraordinary legislators who went to bat for the sector in a very tough budgetary year.

We’ll be starting on the 2018 State Budget and funding in July, with the Office of Management and Budget’s new director. We'll be meeting with the Cabinet Secretaries in August, and working to maintain our momentum and build our partnerships to strengthen contractual relationships and other funding sources for the important work you do in the nonprofit sector. Delaware’s a great place to live because of you and our strong partnerships, and is growing stronger everyday through our alliance.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at or 302-777-5500.


Tags:  General Assembly  Grant-in-Aid  Joint Finance Committee  nonprofits 

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Thank you Joint Finance Committee!

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Joint Finance Committee truly demonstrated the high regard they have for the great work of the nonprofit sector by voting in a $2.8 million increase to the Grant-In-Aid bill (GIA) – SB295. Details should be available late Tuesday or early Wednesday, so you can see how your organization fared.  Thank you also to the Controller General’s Office and Analysts who visited more GIA applicants than ever before.  Finally, thank you to the Delaware Office of Management and Budget (OMB) which worked tirelessly on GIA.

You can view the GIA SB 295 details as they’re released here:

Thanks to each of you for your deliberate engagement in the various nonprofit sector initiatives this year:  Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition, the “Advocacy Logo Letter”, the October Nonprofit Forum, the Annual Budget Update, Nonprofit Day, Social Media campaign “Partners In A Stronger Delaware, and using “Voter Voice”.  Thank you to each of you for your focused efforts to engage your organizations, staff, boards, volunteers, and clients to communicate your value to Delaware’s quality of life.

Now, please take the time and send thank you notes, letters, emails, tweets, etc. to let the Joint Finance Committee members feel your gratitude.  In a year as tight as this one has been, the JFC had to make some very tough choices and they chose to recognize the nonprofits in Grant-In-Aid that demonstrated results.


This is a big win as we continue to build awareness and recognition of the important services you provide.  This win is a good start as we continue our efforts to build stronger relationships with our Government Partners.  We’ll keep you updated as we prepare for the 2018 Delaware State Budget.  We will be meeting with OMB, Departments, and other government officials starting in July and running through the budget development cycle, maintaining the momentum we’ve built this year to strengthen our sector and Delaware for the future.


As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at or 302-777-5500.


Tags:  budget  Delaware  government  Grant-in-Aid  Joint Finance Committee  Nonprofit 

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DEFAC Down Again

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hello All,

The DEFAC forecast just came in and the funds available for appropriation are down by $700,000; not as bad as it could have been, but not good like past years when this last report would tick up.

Sheila and I have been in deep discussions with Joint Finance Committee (JFC) members and our other Senators and Representatives as they prepare to finalize the Budget, Bond, and Grant-In-Aid Bills. They’re commending many of you on your efforts to communicate your successful outcomes.

The social media campaign trumpeting your successes continues to roll through Delaware. #‎OurDelaware ‪#‎PartnersInAstrongerDelaware Many of you have sent us powerful images and stories that we’ve been able to get out to our public officials over social media. Keep them coming and we thank you!

Contact your JFC Members and Legislators

As you saw in the letter we sent you Monday morning from the JFC Co-Chair, Melanie George Smith, she intends to try to make any necessary cuts based on the JFC member recommendations, as opposed to “across-the-board.” Because of this, it’s that much more important for you and your boards, staff, and clients to reach out to them and make certain they know your great outcomes. Carefully craft a brief message for them to use in emails and phone messages, in 3 or 4 sentence talking points, that state how you make your clients lives better, as well as what the impact a 5% or 10% funding cut would have on the services you provide, or how a 5% or 10% cut in funding could impact employment at your nonprofit.

The final meeting for the Grant-In-Aid Bill will be on Tuesday, June 28 at 12:30 pm in the JFC Meeting Room at Legislative Hall, Dover, DE.

Voter Voice – We’ve added this new tool for your convenience in getting your important messages to your elected officials.  You can just send this link along with your specific talking points (for them to add to the Voter Voice message) to your board, staff, volunteers, and clients and they can send a message to your elected officials.  

Here’s the list of the Joint Finance Committee Assignments, that we sent out to you in May. Download the file here.

As always, reach out to me with any questions or comments:


Tags:  DEFAC  Delaware  Joint Finance Committee  Legislative Hall  nonprofits 

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Nonprofit letter to Joint Finance Committee and General Assembly

Posted By John Baker, Friday, June 10, 2016

Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition and the Delaware Nonprofit Sector

Letter to the State Budget Writing Joint Finance Committee and the General Assembly

The Joint Finance Committee completed their two weeks of “Marking Up” the State Budget last Thursday by about 9pm. They’re holding Grant-In-Aid until after the June 20 DEFAC Forecast. The Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition (DANA, Delaware Community Foundation, Delaware Grantmakers Association, United Way, UD CCRS, Ability Network of Delaware, and AFP) has updated our Advocacy letter that you all signed onto by sending your logos that we’ve included in the letter. Please check it out here. It carries the same message as the one you received at the October 19, 2015 Nonprofit Forum. The letter is to the Joint Finance Committee members and more broadly the General Assembly members. The key message is that nonprofits are efficient, effective, innovative partners in contributing to Delaware’s quality of life. It includes specific requests that the JFC and General Assembly consider the revenue recommendations of the special DEFAC Report issued May 2015 to meet the budget gap of $72.8 million, instead of achieving it through cuts that include cuts to nonprofit contracts, pass-throughs, and Grant-In-Aid. 

As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comments at:


Tags:  budget  DEFAC  General Assembly  Joint Finance Committee  nonprofits 

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Budget Crisis Updates

Posted By John Baker, Thursday, May 26, 2016

I will be posting more frequent blogs over the next 6 weeks as critical budget information that impacts the Delaware nonprofit sector becomes available. That said, I have the latest on Delaware’s budget crunch, following on the heels of the May 26 Delaware Economic Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) forecast. 

The new total budget gap has swollen nearly $45 million to a total of $75.3 million. The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) cancelled their May 24 public start of their “Mark Up” of the Governor's proposed budget, and instead met privately to grapple with a new course forward. JFC started their public budget mark-up meeting yesterday (Wednesday), handling general initial review of the current financial challenges and began to review the major sections of the budget bill. 

The take-away from yesterday’s JFC meeting was the question that resounded through the chamber time and time again: “What is the Outcome of the Program?”

As you communicate with your JFC Members, Controller General Analysts, Representatives, and Senators, be certain to talk about and include your OUTCOMES.

To support the Delaware Nonprofit Sector, DANA and the Delaware Revenue Solutions Coalition are launching the “Our Delaware” series to get your stories of success out to the public, and more particularly to JFC members and the General Assembly. We’ve already started receiving your images and stories as the result of our email call for them yesterday. If you haven’t sent yours, send it today. Plus we’ll be updating the “Logo Letter” so if you haven’t sent us your logo, do it now.

On May 18, over 100 of you turned out for Nonprofit Day. Thank you! Now together, we’ll continue to build on this success.

As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comments at:



Tags:  budget  DEFAC  Delaware  Grant-in-Aid  Joint Finance Committee  nonprofits 

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