March, 2017. The substantial growth in New York’s nonprofit human services sector has come in response to a host of
social, demographic and economic changes. The State and its local governments have turned to nonprofit
organizations to provide these critical services; these are public services that serve many populations,
including children and those with low incomes striving to enter the middle class. Millions of New Yorkers are
directly served, and all New Yorkers reap the benefits of more stable communities when their neighbors are
able to pursue healthy and satisfying lives and seek better opportunities.
These essential human services, however, come at a cost, and they should be paid for—in their entirety—by
government. These are public services, provided in keeping with New York’s constitutional requirement
(Article 17: “the aid, care and support of the needy are public concerns and shall be provided by the State
…”) and legislative determinations. The nonprofit human services workforce is, in effect, an indirect
government workforce. Given their charitable missions, nonprofits have readily stepped forward to accept
this public service delivery responsibility. However, New York State has not held up its end of the bargain.
The underfunding of human services is a serious and growing problem. Click here for a PDF of the full report.
This report was prepared and written by James A. Parrott of the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), with
the research assistance of Brent Kramer, FPI Senior Economist.