Student Debt Crisis in the Nonprofit Workforce

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Hearing on The Crisis of Student Debt in the Nonprofit Workforce

The Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector met on December 5, 2017  to discuss The Crisis of Student Debt in the Nonprofit Workforce. Nonprofits are a large and vital part of California’s economy, with nonprofit economic activity contributing 15% — or 1/6 — of California’s Gross State Product (GSP). They generate $208 billion in annual revenue and hold $328 billion in assets. Nearly 1 million people are employed by nonprofits in California, accounting for six percent of total state employment. 1 out of 16 California jobs is at a nonprofit organization. Everyone is this room has been touched or is giving of themselves to the important work nonprofits play in our community.

While there are many accomplishments to celebrate, nonprofits face unique challenges that threaten their success.  An estimated 200,000 nonprofit employees in California alone carry student debt, and a recent survey by the California Association of Nonprofits showed that 23 percent of them have debt of $90,000 or greater.  Student debt makes it much harder for nonprofits to recruit and retain a qualified and diverse staff. In addition, there are threats to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program on the federal level.

The Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector was formed to increase awareness by the Legislature of the role that nonprofits play in California’s economy. The goal for this committee is to collaborate on strategies, policies, and programs that focus on the intersection of economic and social well-being for millions of Californians.

Panelists:
Jan Masaoka – CEO, California Association of Nonprofits
Geoff Green – CEO, Santa Barbara City College Foundation
Natalia Abrams – Executive Director, Student Debt Crisis
Patrick Bourke – Program Officer, Career Readiness, ECMC Foundation
Yanin Senachai – Staff Attorney, Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Lizette Navarette – VP for Strategy and Policy Development, Community College League of California