Here’s the group’s statement, issued Tuesday:
Nonprofit Westchester (NPW) Executive Director Joanna Straub today called on members of the Board of Legislators to increase funding by 3 percent to nonprofit organizations that partner with Westchester County in providing vital services to residents.
In making the case for a modest cost-of-living increase, Straub said that nonprofit organizations are integral to the social safety net, quality of life and economy of Westchester County. In recent years, nonprofits have faced cuts in local, state and federal funding and weathered the storm while demands for their services have soared.
“We have tightened our belts over the past few years during the recession, along with everyone else, working to meet ever increasing demand for services with diminished resources,” said Straub. “Now that the tide is starting to turn economically, it is time to consider reinvesting in the nonprofit sector. With the lack of any cost of living increases over the years, despite increasing costs of doing business, even those organizations who maintained funding levels have essentially taken a funding cut.”
Members of NPW, which is comprised of over 90 organizations, are now ready to stand with lawmakers and County Executive Robert P. Astorino in delivering his promise of protecting taxpayers, preserving essential services and promoting economic growth. In fact, many nonprofits in this county have helped ensure these goals can be met as many provide services once done by the county at a lower cost to taxpayers. Properly funding them is a proven, prudent and cost-effective investment for the county and its taxpayers, Straub said.
The nonprofit sector employs roughly 100,000 people in Westchester County and is responsible for a $23.5 billion economic impact in this county.
Straub noted that providing such a bump in funding is entirely doable since many departments have asked for a 3 percent increase and that the county executive’s budget team projects a $13 million increase in state and federal aid and millions more in sales and mortgage tax receipts. When coupled with other savings realized by the county in recent years, this is an appropriate time to ensure that important health care, child care, domestic violence prevention, housing, the arts and other needs are not further eroded.
The request comes as lawmakers are considering the county executive’s $1.74 billion budget proposal that, after years of cuts, keeps funding for nonprofits at current year’s levels. It also comes as the county board holds its public hearings on the budget. A final hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Westchester County Center, 198 Central Avenue, White Plains.
For more information about Nonprofit Westchester, visit www.npwestchester.org or call 914-332-6679.
The nonprofit sector is comprised of over 5,000 organizations in Westchester County who collectively employ nearly 100,000 people. Nonprofit Westchester (NPW) provides the nonprofit sector with a single unified voice for the role it plays in the economic vitality and sustainability of the county, focusing on sharing resources, connections, and information to strengthen Westchester in partnership with the for-profit and government sectors. Under a cooperative mission to learn, advocate and collaborate, the organization represents more than 90 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in the county and works to improve public awareness and build the capacity of nonprofits for a more just and caring community. For more information, visit www.npwestchester.org.