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Illinois Ranked Among the Worst in Nation for Late Payments to Nonprofits

Updated: Friday, May 16 2014, 10:09 AM CDT
Non-profit organizations don't have much money. Many depend on donations
to supplement funds they get from the state, just to keep their doors
open. New information shows, Illinois is among the worst in the nation
for late payments to these organizations. Illinois non-profits want
lawmakers to make efficient funding for organizations a top priority.
They've been dealing with late and partial payments from the state for
years, and now that it's budget time, Leaders of these organizations say
it's time for a change. This summer, there will still be kids waiting
in line for lunch at school. "When there's no school in the summertime,
we know it's the hungriest days of the year for many children," said Al
Riddley, Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition for Community
Services. Those children depend on organizations like ICCS and it's
summer meal programs. "Many of those are here locally in Central
Illinois. It's Taylorville, Springfield, Riverton and it's through
volunteers and cooperation and it's an expenditure that's significant,"
said Riddley. But years of late payments from the state continue to
cause cash flow issues for ICCS and other non-profits across Illinois.
"So we've had to reduce some of our services. Particularly we closed all
of our physical offices across the state except two," said Riddley. New
data from the Urban Institute show three fourths of the state's
nonprofit organizations are receiving late government payments and more
than half say contracts and grants don't cover full costs. "Local
nonprofits are finding ways to make it work during really challenging
times," said Stacy Reed, Vice-President for programs with the Community
Foundation for the Land of Lincoln. That means taking a hard look at
their situation and making some changes to survive. "How to best meet
their mission and how they're staffed. Partnering with other nonprofits
to get things done effectively and efficiently," Reed said. Riddley
stopped depending on the state for revenue and started raising funds
himself. "So where i had spent a very limited amount of time
fundraising, i now spend a significant amount of time fundraising
because we know from private donors we receive those contributions
immediately," said Riddley. The Illinois Coalition for Community
Services went from having 16 summer meal program sites in 2012 to now 55
sites this year. Despite efforts to prosper on their own terms,
officials say, state funding is still critical to keep the programs
running. Riddley says currently, payments from the state are running
about three to four months late. An improvement from two years ago when
payments were six to eight months behind. But Riddley says they still
have to remind the state, to get money owed. Illinois Ranked Among the Worst in Nation for Late Payments to Nonprofits


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