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2024 Advocacy and Policy Agenda


Responsible. Efficient. Fair.

Nonprofit and Government Partners Working Together for a Better Contracting System


Nonprofit Westchester's Collaborating for Equitable Contracting Initiative seeks to create a task force of government and nonprofit partners committed to advancing changes in the contracting system that:

  • Establish greater efficiencies in the contracting process between government and nonprofit partners,
  • Support the most effective nonprofit operations that result in long-term benefits for society’s vulnerable community members, and, as a result, all residents,
  • Institute compensation for nonprofit workers that values their service and allows them to live with the dignity and financial security they deserve.

NPW’s Policy Committee is comprised of nonprofit organizations of diverse missions, sizes and locations throughout Westchester County who join together to discuss and develop recommended actions impacting the nonprofit sector. On the recommendation of the committee and approval by the Board of Directors, in 2022, NPW distributed a survey to Westchester’s 501c3 nonprofits to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities experienced with government contracting. Survey results, meetings of the committee, research and intensive subcommittee work helped to frame and prioritize challenges and identify policy solutions presented in this report.


The most prevalent challenges that Westchester nonprofits experience fall into three categories:

  • Contracts that do not fully cover verifiable core operating costs and the true cost of service,
  • Compensation for frontline, direct-care and other essential staff that is unacceptably low, and an inconsistent, inequitable and outdated Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) process,
  • Complex contracting processes, including late procurement and payment, and remimbursable contracting, that result in inefficiencies and increased costs to nonprofits.

All of these challenges impact the majority of nonprofits who contract with the government. Research and member input shows that the impact is significantly greater for small and Black, Indigenous, People of Color led (BIPOC-led) nonprofits who experience the greatest disproportionate impact from contracts that do not cover administrative costs, late payments, reimbursement-based contracting, and growing and burdensome insurance requirements.

How governments can make the nonprofit sector more equitable. 

Westchester nonprofits are grateful for government partnerships that meet common goals. Nonprofits understand that the issues highlighted are part of a a two-sided equation. From our perspective, the partnership can be improved in the following ways:

  • Nonprofits should be compensated appropriately for their work. Government funders should cover the full cost of government-mandated service delivery, pay for necessary and verifiable operational/core costs, increase contract rates to cover rising costs and rates of inflation, include cost escalator clauses and wage increases in multi-year grants, and address COLA issues on the State level.
  • Government funders should remove or mitigate barriers to efficient contracting. These include reimbursement-based contracting, delayed procurement and payments, and antiquated, uncoordinated systems both within and across government departments.
  • Government at the County, State and Federal levels should examine and work out inter-related root causes that contribute to contracting challenges.
  • Nonprofit organizations should work together to dismantle systems in the sector that continue to advantage white-run organizations and perpetuate racial inequity.

At the County and State level, Westchester nonprofits expressed appreciation for the accessibility, knowledge and support of elected officials, members of their teams. At the County level additional appreciation was expressed for contracting staff, Westchester County’s contracting assessment project, and discretionary funding that helps to meet the needs of specific communities.

Westchester nonprofits value their partnerships with government. If barriers and complexities can be eliminated, more funding, time, and energy can go toward maximizing quality services to Westchester residents.

The next step is twofold:

  • For the nonprofit sector to better understand the concerns of government partners,
  • To establish intentional dialogue between nonprofits and government funders to discuss challenges and work toward feasible solutions.

Read the full 2024 Advocacy and Policy Agenda »

Join Us at a Public Policy Committee Meeting

Join other changemakers in the NPW Public Policy Committee (members only) to advocate for these issues and more! Register for an upcoming Public Policy Committee meeting.

Register now »

Don’t miss out on Westchester County budget discussions during our upcoming government relations series. Make your voice heard and register today! Learn more.

Take Action.

Join other changemakers in the NPW Public Policy Committee to advocate for these issues & more! Share your concerns and together we can create change.

Download a PDF of our 2024 Advocacy and Policy Agenda.

Download PDF »

Register for an upcoming Public Policy Committee meeting.

Register Now »

How else can I advocate for my nonprofit, clients and community? 

  • Attend NPW’s upcoming Government Relations Series to discuss the county budget with Westchester County Government

  • Review NPW’s Advocacy Toolkit

Many Missions. One Voice.

Nearly 20 % of Westchester’s workforce is employed by nonprofit organizations, and thousands of people, across all income levels and backgrounds, benefit from nonprofit programs and services: 

Racial Equity

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Child Care

Youth Development


Mental Health, Substance Misuse, Co-Occurring Disorders

Hunger, Food Insecurity and Distribution


Housing, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, Homelessness Prevention

Domestic Violence

Immigrant Rights


The Environment and Climate Change

Home Care

Older Adults

Physical, Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities

Workforce Development

Community Development

Economic Development

Arts & Culture

Cancer Care and other Support Groups and Services

Criminal Justice

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