Vermont Nonprofits Find Solutions to Government Contracting Challenges



Vermont’s nonprofit organizations play a vital role in the state’s economy and add true value to Vermonters’ quality of life. This work is fueled by more than $736 million in annual grants and contracts from state, federal and foundation sources. But recently released reports suggest that Vermont’s mission-driven organizations are hampered by inefficient government funding and contracting practices, which reduce program efficiency and divert funds from mission critical work.

This month, the Urban Institute released its National Study of Nonprofit-Government Contracts & Grants 2013. Combined with the recent Nonprofit Finance Fund’s 2014 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey , these reports explain what nonprofits have long known: government and philanthropic sources fail to cover the true costs of delivering community based services.

According to Mark Redmond, executive director of Spectrum Youth & Family Services, “Vermont nonprofits are contracted by the state Legislature and federal government to carry out various social programs. While this is a good thing, government revenue has steadily decreased, while costs have increased, thereby putting intense pressure on nonprofits to fundraise from private philanthropy to fill in the gaps. There is a growing discrepancy between state and federal investments and what it actually costs nonprofit organizations to deliver valuable services.”

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