Earlier this week, the White House released “budget blueprint” for the upcoming fiscal year. While not a formal budget, it offered guidance on White House priorities that included eliminating 9 important federal agencies and many other funding sources (like CSBG and CDBG). I read the 62-page budget blueprint and wrote an extensive blog post yesterday, which you can read here.
With one party in control of the legislative and executive branches, a tsunami of change is inevitable and will impact nearly every nonprofit organization. Like all great storms, the change will come in strong waves: first regulations will get looser or tighten, then funding will rise or fall, and collateral damage on individual households and organizations will be felt throughout the sector.
While paradoxical, some organizations will benefit from the pending changes, others will be at a disadvantage, and the most adaptable organizations will emerge stronger and more resilient than before.
As a nonprofit consultant, podcaster, and supporter, I have been very surprised by the number of nonprofit organizations continuing with “business as usual”.
To continue the storm analogy, it feels like organizations have been warned a major storm is coming, but they are not filling sandbags, recruiting people to help, and identifying ways to stormproof their organizations. With their grant contracts secure for another 12 – 24 months, they aren’t currently preparing for possible government funding cuts of 25% - 100%.
This lack of action is understandable because so many organizations aren’t even sure where to start, but most organizations still have time to act. For this reason, I’ve outlined five steps your organization can take now to position your organization for changing times:
#1: Invest in Fundraising!
The two most important factors in fundraising success are developing a plan and having the appropriate staff. For this reason, allocate the funds necessary to evaluate your fundraising efforts, create (or revise) your fundraising plan, and hire the right staff to implement this plan.
Some organizations, such as Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, have even used the current rhetoric as a rallying cry to raise more funds. The daily news coverage of dramatic policy changes gives them a new reason to solicit donors every morning!
Remember: the ability to raise more funds from individuals will always serve your mission well.
#2: Get Media Ready!
Regardless of your mission, reporters will want to speak with those impacted by policy decisions. Prepare your organization by identifying spokespeople, crafting talking points, preparing clients to speak with reporters, and letting reporters know you can offer real people impacted by policy who are also ready to be interviewed.
When pitching ideas to the media, remember that your organization’s story is best told through people you serve. For example, people are more likely to learn about 300 low-income clients losing health insurance if one brave patient is willing to tell her story to the local news.
#3: Prepare to Advocate!
Empower your board members, volunteers, donors and clients to advocate for policies that promote and support your mission. Specifically, ask them to call legislators when relevant legislation is being considered and make sure they know how to submit public comment to local, state, and Federal agencies that are legally required to consider citizen input before changing policy.
#4: Join an Association!
In addition to joining your state or local nonprofit resource center, actively participate in an association for organizations with similar missions and services. You should expect your mission-based association will alert you of pending legislation, policy changes, and court decisions that will impact all organizations providing similar services.
Joining an association will benefit your organization in many other areas. In fact, an effective association will provide your organization with technical assistance, leadership development, program development, and fundraising support specific to your mission and the services you provide.
#5: Revisit your strategic plan!
When the environment changes, it is always a good idea to review and revise your plan. If your organization’s funding may get cut by 15% or the demand for your service may increase by 10%, it is better to plan for the possibility before it becomes a reality.
If your organization’s environment changes dramatically, however, you may need to begin a new strategic planning process. This is especially true if your organization is in the high-risk red zone on the Trump Risk Matrix below:
Yesterday the White House released Donald Trump’s “budget blueprint” that outlines his spending priorities and cuts for the upcoming fiscal year. Knowing that this budget blueprint would have broad implications for nonprofits across the nation, I sat down this morning to read the 62 page document and summarize changes that nonprofits should anticipate.
In order to disseminate this information quickly, this report includes screen captures of the actual document and has not been carefully proofed for pesky “type ohs” (sic).
In his letter transmitting the budget blueprint to congress, Donald Trump noted, “. . . .I submit to the Congress this Budget Blueprint to reprioritize Federal spending so that it advances the safety and security of the American people.” After reading the document, I can attest that his budget blueprint does indeed increase funding for national defense, border control, and law enforcement. But it jeopardizes the security of many of our poorest citizens – their food security, housing security, and neighborhood security.
While this report primarily focuses on the impact the budget blueprint will have on nonprofit organizations, the greatest impact will be on low-income Americans of all ages, ethnicities, and geographies. They will feel the impact the most because they will be affected by declining nonprofit services and declining government sector services.
It is also important to note that the President has essentially issued a policy paper. There is still time for nonprofits, their associations, and their clients to advocate and change the actual budget.
With these caveats, let’s walk through the budget.
Funding Sources Proposed for Elimination
Funding Sources Proposed for a Significant Decrease
Funding Sources Proposed for an Increase
Funding Sources to Continue But No Clarity On Funding Levels
Elimination of Agencies
The budget blueprint calls for the elimination of agencies that form our country’s social safety net. These are the agencies that ensure justice for everyone, promote economic mobility, ensure equal access to the arts, and often give people their first job out of college or their last job before retirement. Under this budget blueprint, funding for the following independent agencies will be completely eliminated:
Appalachian Regional Commission:
$0 in FY 2018. ARC was founded in 1965 to close the close the profound socioeconomic gaps between Appalachia and the rest of the nation. ARC serves 420 predominantly rural counties with a combined population of over 25 million rural Americans. The Commission operates programs and provides grants that make the Appalachian region more competitive in education, entrepreneurialism, infrastructure, and tourism. In recent years, it has devoted significant resources to helping the region’s economy transition away from being coal-dependent. Verdict: Rural Appalachia will lose support for economic development.
The Corporation for National and Community Service:
$0 in FY 2018. This national agency engages over 5 million Americans in service every year, including 75,000 AmeriCorps members and 270,000 Senior Corps. CNCS also operates the Social Innovation Fund, Volunteer Generation Fund, Days of Service campaigns. These important volunteer programs, which include grants to many nonprofits, will be eliminated. Verdict: Fewer volunteers for nonprofits, fewer organizations with the infrastructure to support volunteers.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting:
$0 in FY 2018. CPB strives to support diverse programs and services that inform, educate, enlighten and enrich the public. Through grants, CPB encourages the development of content that addresses the needs of underserved audiences, especially children and minorities. CPB also funds multiple digital platforms used by thousands of public media producers and production companies throughout the country. CPB issued 575 large grants to support 1,498 public radio and TV stations. 70% of the organization’s budget goes directly to local public TV and radio stations, 248 of which are rural. Verdict: Public broadcasting will likely survive in areas with higher population density (cities and suburbs), but rural areas will lose this important resource for local programming and news.
Institute of Museum and Library Services:
$0 in FY 2018. This Federal agency supports the growth and development of museums of all sizes. Of note, it provides capacity building grants to small and medium-size cultural institutions in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Verdict: Struggling cultural organizations across the country will have more barriers to becoming a sustainable institution. Many will close.
Legal Services Corporation:
$0 in FY 2018. Provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. LSC promotes equal access to justice by providing funding to 134 independent non-profit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. LSC grantees serve thousands of low-income individuals, children, families, seniors, and veterans in 813 offices in every congressional district. Verdict: Fewer low-income Americans will have access to legal representation when they need it most.
National Endowment for the Arts:
$0 in FY 2018. The NEA funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation. In FY 2015, the NEA awarded more than 2,300 grants in every Congressional district in the country, roughly half intended to reach underserved populations. Through its direct grant making, the NEA will support more than 30,000 concerts, readings, and performances and more than 5,000 exhibitions of visual and media arts with annual, live attendance of 33 million. NEA-supported broadcast performances on television, radio, and cable will have additional audiences of at least 360 million. Verdict: Organizations often use grant-matching requirements to encourage local giving of the arts. There will be fewer performances and exhibits and less local support for the Arts.
National Endowment for the Humanities:
The NEH supports scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future. NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars. Verdict: Less funding for the humanities.
Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation:
The NRC seeks to promote reinvestment in urban, suburban and rural communities by local financial institutions working cooperatively with residents and local government. It funds 235 community based organizations that build resilient, sustainable, and engaged neighborhoods. Verdict: Neighborhoods suffering from blight and economic disparities will not experience growth.
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness:
This federal agency coordinates and catalyzes the federal response to homelessness among the 19 Federal agencies tasked with addressing the issue, as well as governors, mayors, and continuum of care leaders. Verdict: With less coordination of homeless intervention efforts, many communities will experience duplication of services.
And The Cuts Keep Coming
While the President proposes the wholesale elimination of many agencies, his budget priorities will impact funding and services in several key areas:
Food Security and Housing
The budget proposes eliminating the discretionary programs within the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services. This includes the
Affordable Housing will be harder to build and harder to obtain.
In eliminating both the Community Development Block Grant and the HOME Investment Program, there will be fewer resources to build affordable housing and fewer resources to support those entering or in affordable housing.
Of course, the Community Development Block Grant does more than just help homeless people. It also provides vital services like meals on wheels for home bound seniors, supports community centers providing after school activities, and much more. In a recent year, the CDBG touched the lives of over 73,000 Americans with housing, 17,000 with economic development, and 38 million with facility improvements in their communities
Finally, nonprofit builders of affordable housing will have fewer resources for capacity building with the elimination of Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing. Consequently, they will also have a lower capacity for actually building housing.
Workforce and Economic Development
Workforce and Economic Development efforts will be taking hits as well. This includes less support for minority businesses and small- to medium-size manufacturers (the text from the budget blueprint is inserted below):
Nonprofits that provide workforce development and job training will experience significantly more demand for their services, as the government eliminates or decreases its job training programs.
With the elimination of the Senior Community Service Employment Program, older workers over age 55 will have fewer opportunities to reenter the workforce. Of note, this program funds 19 national nonprofit organizations that place older workers with employers for a risk-free trial period. During this time, the program funds 100% of the worker’s salary and subsidizes the salary for several months if the employer chooses to hire the older worker. Typically about a third of program participants are hired after the trial period, and many nonprofits have also used this program to recruit and hire older workers.
In an interesting twist of logic, the White House also recommends, “improving Job Corps” by closing under-performing Job Corps centers. It is not recommending replacing those centers that are closed, which means that many low income people will now lose access to their nearest Job Corps training center:
Finally, as seen throughout the budget blueprint, the President seeks to stop funding Federal programs with the expectation that states, municipalities, and employers will find the funds necessary to provide these programs for low-income job training and workforce development.
Also impacting nonprofit healthcare providers, they should anticipate more aggressive monitoring of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements:
Healthcare and Disease Prevention
The budget blueprint also calls for 20% less funding for NIH, with a significant but undisclosed impact on research grants that will be “rebalanced”.
Ryan White funded healthcare for people living with HIV/AIDS appears safe, but it also depends on the definition of “supports”. Most of the narrative in the blue print is clear whether funds will be increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same, but it is not clear when referring to Ryan White. For this reason, “supports” leaves me suspicious.
Also nonprofit healthcare providers should anticipate more aggressive monitoring of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, as the blueprint seeks a $70 million increase in efforts to investigate healthcare fraud and abuse through these programs.
Nonprofits engaged in educating our children and young adults will also have fewer resources to support their students. As outlined below, public schools will have fewer resources for providing remedial help to under-performing students, and nonprofit organizations serving youth will have additional demands to provide educational and social support to these students.
The Supporting Effective Instruction program will be eliminated. This $2.4 billion program supports ongoing State and local efforts to ensure that every child has access to effective teachers. Funds implement educator evaluation systems that provide meaningful feedback and support to teachers and school leaders, prepare educators to implement standards, and attract and retain the best teachers and leaders in high-need schools.
The budget blueprint also eliminates the $1.2 billion 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. This program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for over 2.2 million children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. As a result of this program, 36% of the students experienced an improvement in math grades, 36% experienced an improvement in English grades, and 50% of the students’ teachers reported an increase in homework completion.
In addition to eliminating the striving readers program, which provides additional help for students reading below grade level, the budget blueprint also eliminates or reduces more than 20 unnamed programs.
President Trump appears to be fulfilling his promise to take care of our nation’s veterans by increasing funding for veteran healthcare by $4.6 billion, though his commitment on veteran homelessness is not as concrete. The budget blueprint merely indicates "support". This seems vague enough to make us worry about possible cuts in grants to address homeless vets:
With decreased funding for legal service corporations, decreased support for services benefiting our nation’s poorest residents, and an increase in immigration enforcement, the White House is preparing for an increase in Federal arrests:
Legal Service Corporations will have more demand for service from those arrested, while having fewer resources to represent them. Additionally, many of those arrested will be their household’s primary earner, which will place additional burdens on nonprofit organizations serving the poor in their community.
About the Author
When Bill Lutz started as the Executive Director of an outreach ministry called The New Path, he brought a strong management and leadership background to a traditional ministry. Within six months of accepting the position, he learned that he often did not learn about an issue until it was a “full fledged disaster or catastrophe mode.”
For this reason, he created and implemented a quarterly “Pulse Survey” to measure the three key organizational indicators:
The survey is sent every three months to staff, board, volunteers, partners, and other key constituents. Started in 2015, they have sent the survey for five quarters.
The first survey resulted in a strong response – noting both issues to work on and strengths to celebrate. During the first few quarters, the survey indicated low numbers on “strategy”. And this provided data to help the board understand the importance of allocating funds to hire a strategic planning consultant and completing a strategic planning process.
We interviewed Lutz on Episode 17 of the Successful Nonprofits Podcast, and our conversation also included:
Listen on Sound Cloud
Check out the Successful Nonprofits Podcast
In less than one week, Americans everywhere will have one final opportunity to vote. I say one final opportunity – because many have had the opportunity to vote in the primaries and vote early in the general election.
According to the census bureau, just 92 million Americans voted in the last national election – while the nearly 240 million Americans are of voting age in this country. In other words, only 38.5% of adults over age 18 voted. The Census bureau asked registered voters who did not vote to explain their reason for not participating in the election. The most common reasons:
Those are the two worst reasons for not voting. After all, counties offer absentee ballot options for this very reason. That’s right, a county election office would have sent each of these non-voters a paper ballot to fill out in the comfort of their own home while sitting in a Lay-Z-Boy chair.
But wait! The responses non-voters get worse:
What the ?!#%$@&
If you leave the house on Election Day, you will see hundreds to thousands of people wearing stickers proclaiming “I voted”. If you didn’t leave the house – did you fail to turn on the TV, check your newsfeed online?
I think, perhaps, an ascetic monk living in cave in a mountain could use this excuse. Anyone else – it’s another bogus excuse.
Just when you thought the reasons couldn’t get any worse – guess what? They do.
We can assume these folks understand the importance of voting because they went to the trouble to register. But then, when Election Day rolled around they were “not interested”. You may not be interested in spaghetti for dinner tonight; you may not be interested in seeing Paris before you die.
But I sincerely hope you are interested in a civil society, infrastructure, a common defense, and many other issues that we decide by election. How do I know you’re interested in them? Well, if there is a riot in your hometown, you want something done about it (and then say something should have been done sooner). If a bridge you cross every day needs repair, you want it fixed before someone gets hurt. If our nation is at threat, you want it defended.
I’m just about to stop listing every one of these reasons, but here’s one more:
To keep this short, please see the paragraph about absentee ballots.
Our Constitution assigns two critical duties to Citizens, and one of them is to vote.
Whether you are conservative, liberal, or moderate, our nation faces issues that you care about. And Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have dramatically different proposals for addressing these issues.
If you are eligible to vote, it is your constitutional duty to cast a ballot for the person you believe will best serve our country. And saying “I don’t like either of them” is perhaps the worst reason for failing to vote.
You know why? There are a lot of other races you will be voting on, including
So if you haven’t already participated in early voting or cast an absentee ballot, look at your schedule for Tuesday November 8 and plan when you will go to the polls and vote.
Last year, an organization engaged me to facilitate a session on board expectations at their annual retreat. Specifically, the executive director asked that I help the board better understand the importance of attendance, being ambassadors for the organization, and following through on their commitments.
I started the discussion at the board retreat by asking each board member to write down their best guest about the average meeting attendance was, and most board members guessed between 80% - 90% attendance. Retreat attendees were surprised that the average attendance at each meeting was actually only 66%. I then asked board members to estimate the percentage of members who attended less than 51% of the meetings, and they were astounded to learn that 37.5% missed 6 or more meetings last year.
Those who missed the most meetings could be termed “chronically absent board members”
If the 37.5% of “chronically absent board members” were removed from the chart, the remaining board members averaged 85% meeting attendance. An average meeting attendance of 85% is quite respectable, and this really “woke up” the Board, which now seemed keenly interested in improving attendance among the chronically absent (or helping them leave the board).
Instead of continuing the conversation about the importance of attendance and participation at board meetings, a few board members jumped right into exploring a reasonable and achievable expectation for board member attendance. Some liked the idea of 75% attendance, while others supported 85%. There were also suggestions about scheduling board meetings at more convenient times, offering virtual attendance options, and considering whether an absence should be excused for work related reasons.
One of the newer board members, who had sat quietly through most of the discussion, began speaking in an agitated manner: “This is ridiculous. What does it matter if a third of the board just doesn’t show up at meetings? Who does it hurt? So they just aren’t here, that doesn’t keep the rest of the board members from being active. At the end of their terms, we just find someone else who we think will be more active. The last thing this or any board needs is someone being a truancy officer, counting who’s attending the meeting and who isn’t, and chasing after board members who don’t show up. I run my own business, have grandkids, and am really busy. We aren’t getting paid for this, and it shouldn’t be treated like a job”.
With only a few minutes left on the agenda before the next facilitator was scheduled to begin, we had a brief conversation about the importance of board attendance, with a strong focus on attendance being the backbone of fiduciary responsibility and board effectiveness. To say the least, I left the room that day with the realization that many of us who work with boards make the assumption that board members understand the importance of attendance. That assumption, however, is likely not shared by all board members.
For this reason, it is definitely worthwhile to outline the reasons attendance is critical to organizational effectiveness. In fact, there are at least six good reasons:
#1: Norming to the Average
Mixing a cup of really hot water and a cup of really cold water into a bowl, results in two cups of warm water. Human behavior works on the same principle. People look around the room to see what their peers are doing (or not doing), and they model their behavior accordingly. People serving on boards with high levels of attendance and participation are more likely to attend meetings because they want to at least be average or above average. Those serving on boards with low levels of attendance, however, don’t need to show up very often or do very much in order to be average.
#2: The Cocktail Party Effect
I once interviewed a respected nonprofit board member who helped me understand the cocktail party effect. Imagine that a group of four cocktail party guests are chatting away when someone meanders over to joins the conversation. The meaningful conversation either backtracks in order to fully engage the new group member or the conversation continues forward only to leave the new guest puzzled and confused. Those who are chronically absent have a similar impact on the board. If the board reviews prior discussions and decisions so the occasional board attendee can knowledgeably vote on issues, other board members are penalized by having to sit through a summary of the last few months deliberation. If the board doesn’t take the time to bring the rarely seen board member up to speed, the board is harmed by a member who votes without understanding the issues.
#3: Fiduciary Oversight
Board members have a legal duty to provide fiduciary oversight, and this obligation simply cannot be met by an absentee board member. While board attendance alone is insufficient to meet the fiduciary responsibility, it is impossible to provide appropriate oversight without participating in board meetings. State attorneys general have on occasion conducted high profile investigations of board members failing to provide fiduciary oversight, including in California, Oklahoma, Vermont, and almost every other state.
#4: Bad Press
A state attorney general investigation involving a board-level breach of fiduciary responsibility is always bad public relations. When the investigation makes the press (and it will), most members of the public will believe the Board was either “asleep at the wheel” or in collusion with management to do something wrong.
#5: Lost Sense of Team
Boards, like all entities, function best as a team. They know each others strengths and weaknesses, know when to make that all important hand off, and know when a person isn’t a functional team member. But teams aren’t composed of people who “show up when they can”. Being part of a team means showing up at practice (committee meetings) and games (board meetings) ready to give it your best. Anything less means that board members can’t count on each other to get the job done.
#6: Lost Income
Some foundation applications have begun asking about board attendance, and this question will soon become as commonly asked as the percentage of board members making a personal gift. Those nonprofits with chronic absenteeism are much less likely to obtain funding.
If you are interested in evaluating your own board's attendance, the questions below are a good starting point:
Nothing kills enthusiasm and saps productivity like long, disorganized, or unproductive meetings. For this reason, we offer the following tips for holding truly effective meetings:
1. Prepare and distribute an agenda and written reports before every meeting.
2. Develop agendas that solicit meaningful input and ensure the board (or committee) votes on important issues.
3. Stick to the printed agenda, tabling other items of business for a future meeting.
4. Encourage prompt attendance by starting and ending on time.
5. Develop and enforce written expectations regarding meeting attendance.
6. Follow up after the meeting with a meeting summary that includes a task list with deadlines. Everyone needs a reminder !
Use technology to free your board from mundane tasks and allow them to focus on governance, mission, and fundraising.
One best practice is to distribute and file board manuals and board meeting packets via cloud-based file sharing system such as Dropbox. You will distribute these materials more quickly and your Board members will no longer spend precious volunteer hours filing documents
Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral
Nonprofit fundraising and awareness campaigns rarely go viral, but the Ice Bucket Challenge shattered our expectations when it broke through the frozen ceiling.
According to an ALS Association press release , the Ice Bucket Challenge raised over $100 million from about 3 million new donors ! Also of note, politicians, celebrities, sports teams, and even companies accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge and made contributions to the ALS Association. Having raised less than $3 million from the same period in 2013, this viral campaign represented a tremendous fundraising and public awareness campaign.
To the surprise of many, the ALS Association did not actively plan and implement this campaign. Instead, the campaign started accidentally when a man in Florida accepted an early Ice Bucket Challenge and designated his charitable gift to ALS. Within days someone with a strong social media network accepted the challenge, and he was the catalyst for the viral nature of the campaign.
In 2015, nonprofit organizations will better understand that creative, passionate supporters with large social media networks can raise awareness and money for them. Some of the best campaigns will be launched by supporters with social media savvy.
Police Brutality Against People of Color
Learning about the tragic deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice shocked the nation, but the shock turned to anger when police officers did not have to stand trial.
The senseless deaths and lack of justice led to a national conversation about police brutality, racism, and unequal treatment under the law. The conversation will continue into 2015 and beyond, and nonprofit organizations will play an important role.
Community-based organizations and nonprofit media will be pivotal in facilitating civil discourse and holding our society and law enforcement accountable for its actions. For example, the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica analyzed federal data to determine that police are 21 times more likely to shoot young African American men then young white men, and the mainstream media has often quoted their study. Another example is the ACLU of Missouri defending the civil rights of protesters and the media in Ferguson and publicly updating their work via the web. In addition to contributing to the dialogue in a meaningful way in 2015, these organizations will benefit from additional volunteer and financial support from those who care deeply about equal treatment for all.
Additionally, many foundations of all sizes will respond by shifting priorities and dollars to nonprofits successfully tackling this important issue.
Republicans Ride Landslide Into U.S. Senate
Republicans won 23 Senate races in 2014, giving the conservative party a strong majority in the U.S. Senate. Since the Republican party maintained control of the House of Representatives, the legislative branch will undoubtedly pass many conservative bills for the President to sign or veto.
Since winning the election, the Senate’s Republic Caucus has published seven “Our View” posts at its website, and each one attacks the Affordable Care Act. While the Republican controlled Congress will do its best to gut the Affordable Care Act, the party lacks sufficient votes to override a Presidential veto.The Republican agenda for 2015 does include some priorities that may actually impact nonprofit organizations, such as
Nonprofit charter schools will likely have greater access to funding and fewer regulatory barriers to starting, while greater state control of Federal grants will require that nonprofits be actively involved with state and local officials.
When lower taxes result in less revenue, legislators typically reduce spending on social programs. As a result, social service nonprofits will have less government funding to meet a growing need.
The repeal of EPA regulations will require progressive environmental groups to engage in community organizing on a state-by-state basis. While this will be much more costly for the organizations, a public repeal of regulations will also provide a battle-cry for fundraising and public awareness campaigns.
Supreme Court Agrees to Hear the Case of King v. Burwell
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of King v. Burwell in 2015, and it may have far reaching consequences for clients of many nonprofit organizations.
The case challenges the legality of providing tax credits to those who enroll through the Federal health insurance exchanges. Since 36 states have opted to not implement their own exchanges, nearly 5 million people could become ineligible for assistance paying their health insurance premiums.
If the court rules that the subsidies are not legal, healthcare organizations will once again have patients who cannot afford necessary medical care. Additionally, the nonprofit organizations that have retooled to compete for insured patients will not receive additional government dollars to care for the newly uninsured.