The Texas nonprofit community plays an essential role in providing health and human services and social services to Texans in need throughout the state. As the needs of Texans have grown, so too has the nonprofit community, which has had a demonstrable and widespread impact on many critical economic sectors within this state. The nonprofit community and State government are in the position of providing mutual support that will improve the lives of tens of thousands of Texans by expanding and strengthening sustainable partnerships between state agencies and nonprofit organizations.*
Texas is now leading the way in developing stronger relationships between state government and the nonprofit community. Much is the result of two legislative task forces that have opened the way to greater understanding and collaboration between state government and the Texas nonprofit community.;
Task Force on Strengthening Nonprofit Capacity
The Report and Legislative Recommendations to the 81st Texas Legislature of the Task Force on Strengthening Nonprofit Capacity was transmitted to the Legislature on November 1, 2010. Eight nonprofit leaders were brought together as a result of the passage of HB 492 in the 80th Texas Legislature. The Task Force was charged with inviting public testimony and written comments about how to strengthen nonprofit capacity for providing charitable and social services to Texans in need. Among the resulting recommendations, contained in the Report and Legislative Recommendations, was the creation of another Task Force to continue its work and oversee the implementation of its recommendations.
Thereafter, the 81st Texas Legislature passed HB1965 which established the Task Force on Improving Relations with Nonprofits. Barry Silverberg and Bee Moorhead, Executive Director of Texas Impact, were appointed Task Force co-chairs,
Task Force on Improving Relations with Nonprofits
The Report and Legislative Recommendations to the 82nd Texas Legislature of the Task Force on Improving Relations with Nonprofits was transmitted to the Legislature on December 4, 2012. The Task Force was charged with
- Developing and implementing a plan for improving contracting relationships between state agencies and faith- and community-based organizations;
- Developing best practices for cooperating and collaborating with faith- and community-based organizations;
- Identifying and addressing duplication of services provided by the state and faith- and community-based organizations; and
- Identifying and addressing gaps in state services that faith- and community-based organizations could fill.
To accomplish its work, the Task Force actively participated with the Interagency Coordinating Group (ICG) – comprised of liaisons from legislatively defined state agencies charged with _____________________________________. Task Force members actively participated as ex officio members of the ICG’s four committees: (1) Cross Agency Relations; (2) Enhanced Training; (3) Sharing Information & Resources; and Improving Contracting Relationships.
During its first year, Task Force members:
- Served as liaisons and consultants between Texas State programs and the Faith Based Community Organization (FBCO) sector;
- Provided expert input on subjects being discussed by ICG participants; and
- Promoted Texas State government – nonprofit collaboration and cooperation; and
- Deliberated as to how the government – nonprofit collaboration and cooperation might best be effected long-term.
The Task Force’s two recommendations are:
- Legislators should establish a permanent Nonprofit Partnership Council comprising representatives from a broad range of nonprofit perspectives. The co-chairs of the Council should serve as ex officio members of the ICG. The Council should work with the ICG, lawmakers, and local communities to strengthen collaboration between public programs and the nonprofit sector; and
- Legislators should establish a nonprofit legislative caucus to serve as a legislative focal point for nonprofit policy, and to provide resources and information on the nonprofit community for legislators and their staffs.
Legislation is currently being developed to implement the Task Force’s recommendations
* Report & Legislative Recommendations to 83rd Texas Legislature from the Task Force on Improving Relations with Nonprofits