Maryland Nonprofits Calls for $100 million Unrestricted Grant Fund for Nonprofits Serving Maryland’s Communities and Releases Think BIG Think Tank 2022 Report and Prospectus

photo from Laurel Advocacy & Referral Services Inc.
Photo from LaureL Advocacy & Referral Services Inc.

For Immediate Release 

Media Contact: Imany Dye, Communications & Marketing Coordinator | (443) 238 2336 


The state of Maryland relies on nonprofit organizations to serve Marylanders in need, and the arts, culture, education, health, and the environment that we all enjoy as residents of the Free State. There is bipartisan agreement that nonprofits are part of the communities they serve and preferable to government agencies in understanding and meeting the needs of those communities.  

With an unprecedented $6 billion budget surplus and projected surpluses in 2023, now is the time for Maryland to make good on its commitments to the nonprofits and the workers that have been asked to do “more with less” for decades. 

A new state-funded $100 million general operating grant fund proposed by Maryland Nonprofits will support small and mid-sized nonprofits serving communities in need. Small nonprofits are most likely to be led by people of color and insufficiently funded to meet the byzantine government regulations attached to traditional government grants and contracts. 

Maryland Nonprofits is the nonpartisan association for Maryland’s nonprofit sector with a mission of strengthening organizations and networks for greater quality of life and equity. Representing the 37,000 nonprofits across the state and a network of nonprofit advocates, Maryland Nonprofits will advocate for the following 2023 policy priorities: 

  • Social justice, Diversity, and Representation  
  • Housing Relief and Path to Homeownership  
  • Public Safety  
  • Transforming and Improving Public Transit 
  • Protecting Marylanders’ Health 
  • Protecting the Environment  
  • Investment in Government and Nonprofit Services, Workforce, and Infrastructure  
  • Strengthening the Partnership Between Government and the Nonprofit Community 

“As providers of essential community services and drivers of economic development, nonprofits are part of our public service infrastructure,” said Heather Iliff, President & CEO of Maryland Nonprofits. “We need to ensure that available resources are equitably allocated to communities that need it most and the nonprofits serving them.”  

Maryland Nonprofits’ 2023 Policy Priorities are informed by the work of the Think BIG Think Tank, that brought together members of the nonprofit community and individuals with lived experience who have been affected by inequity and oppressive public systems. See: Think BIG Think Tank 2022 Report and Prospectus. 

“Maryland Nonprofits is the only organization in Maryland that is advocating for the statewide nonprofit sector and public interest,” said 2023 Maryland Nonprofits Board Chair Walter Simmons. “I look forward to working with new and returning Maryland lawmakers in developing innovative public policy solutions to systemic state-wide issues.” 

At the federal level, Maryland Nonprofits supports the Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership Act (H.R.7587). The Seat at the Table initiative led by Independent Sector seeks to create a system for the inclusion of nonprofits in federal policymaking. 

The nonprofit sector in Maryland employs 13% of the state’s private sector workforce, more than every other major private industry in the state apart from retail trade according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Between 2007 and 2017, nonprofit employment grew by nearly 15%, far exceeding the 2.4% growth rate of the for-profit sector. Maryland’s nonprofits include three of the largest private employers in the state (Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, and University of Maryland Medical System) and the smallest, all-volunteer nonprofit organizations with 65% reporting annual revenue under $25,000 in 2019. See more nonprofit data here 


About Maryland Nonprofits  

For 30 years, Maryland Nonprofits has worked to promote a thriving and effective nonprofit sector in Maryland and nationally through our Standards for Excellence® Institute. With our 1,400+ members, we coordinate advocacy with nonprofit leaders to advance equity and public policy that supports vibrant community organizations and civil society. Maryland Nonprofits’ capacity-building services include the state’s largest nonprofit consulting group, training, an annual conference, and accreditation through the Standards for Excellence program. Maryland Nonprofits is the home of the Maryland Association of Resources for Families & Youth (MARFY), Maryland Latinos Unidos, and the Charge Up Collaborative. Maryland Nonprofits is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-partisan organization with a mission to strengthen organizations and networks for greater quality of life and equity.