Why is state grant reform a topic at the Legislature? There are two main reasons.
- The state’s Office of the Legislative Auditor, an entity that provides the legislature with objective audit and evaluation reports, released a report in February 2023 focusing on the extent the state has established comprehensive policies for administering grants to nonprofits.
- We expect to see legislation proposed in response to the immense fraud that is part of the Feeding Our Future scandal.
Prioritizing nonprofits in reform efforts
The state's system is decentralized -- grants go through 27 different state agencies, each with many of its own rules and processes. These processes have come under scrutiny for the reasons above.
We believe it is a good sign that recent reform proposals and government reports align with MCN's long-term advocacy to remove or lessen barriers to government funding for nonprofits. (Reports: Equity in Minnesota State Grantmaking; State Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits)
At the same time, we are concerned that lawmakers may go overboard in their attempts to ensure “perfect” procedures and compliance, creating undue burdens on nonprofits.
If provisions are developed without input from nonprofits or without consideration of how nonprofits will be impacted, it’s likely the provisions will be at best ineffective and at worst harmful. We will need you to advocate with us against these proposals!