As the Providers’ Council and our membership led efforts to strengthen the human services sector in Massachusetts throughout 2016, we referred time and again to the foundation that community-based providers have built and continue to reinforce for so many people across the Commonwealth. We engaged elected officials on our public policy agenda, created new education and training programs and secured a relationship with a new Endorsed Business Partner to expand opportunities for our membership. Every time the Providers’ Council is able to make progress on one of these items – several of which we’ve been working toward for many years – we hope the end result makes it easier for our members to meet their missions.
One longstanding item the Providers’ Council was successful in changing in 2016 was the state’s rules for nonprofits relating to Surplus Revenue Retention, which disincentivized providers’ efficiency and building of reserves. The Council’s Business Practices Committee helped effect a change, moving the annual cap to 20 percent and eliminating the lifetime cap. Another significant action on the policy front was our effort to create the Coalition to Preserve Nonprofit Services to fight threats to our tax-exempt status, a coalition that will be active for the foreseeable future to reaffirm the value and contributions nonprofits provide to their communities.
Executive transition and building a bench of future leaders were also major focuses of the Council. Our education, training and group purchasing programs saw incredible growth, starting with Providers’ eAcademy® – our online learning management system – which saw 26,000 learners at 55 member organizations take more than 130,000 courses online. Additionally, we added PurchasingPoint®, a new Endorsed Business Partner. And the Council went for the gold at our Annual Convention & Expo: Inspire | Ignite | Impact in October with two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison as the keynote speaker.
Only with the support and efforts of our members were we able to use all of these building blocks to help strengthen the foundation of the human services sector in Massachusetts. From all of us on the Providers’ Council’s staff and board of directors, we thank you for your tireless efforts providing care to one-in-ten vulnerable residents throughout the state.