Recent Publications

Recent Publications

Indiana Local Government Officials: Exploring Support for PILOTs and SILOTs

To what extent do local government officials (LGOs) support PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) and SILOTs (services in lieu of taxes), and how has this support changed since 2012? Published Summer 2019.

Full Report

Indiana Nonprofits: Information Technology Resources & Challenges

Read our first Activities Report on nonprofit Information Technology use and challenges. Published Spring 2019.

Full Report

Indiana Arts and Culture Nonprofits: Overview and Challenges

Read our second Overview Report of Indiana arts and culture organizations. Published Fall 2018.

Full Report

The Indianapolis Nonprofit Sector: Overview & Challenges

Read our first Overview Report for the Indianapolis nonprofit sector. Published Summer 2018.

Full Report

Indiana Nonprofits & New Overtime Pay Regulations

How will new overtime pay regulations impact Indiana nonprofits?

New regulations on overtime pay (part of the Fair Labor Standards Act) will take effect on December 1, 2016 and require mandatory overtime pay for employees earning less than $47,476 per year. The full impact of these new regulations on nonprofit employers in Indiana is likely to be significant, despite special accommodations for small charities.

Drawing on data from our extensive analysis of nonprofit paid employment in Indiana, survey data from Indiana nonprofits, and basic financial indicator data, we find strong evidence that the new regula­tions are likely to present significant challenges to nonprofit organizations in Indiana and elsewhere. Given the precarious financial constraints of many charities, the new overtime pay requirements threaten the ability of charities to provide many essential services and/or make a range of significant contribu­tions to the quality of life in local communities.

  • Average annual nonprofit wages were about $41,600. However, this relatively high level is due mainly to high wages in health care services (accounting for more than half of all non­profit employ­ees). Average wages were much lower in other key nonprofit industries and many sub-industries. Such low wages help explain why many nonprofits often struggle to find and keep qualified staff.
  • Almost half (48 percent) of Indiana charities operated with a deficit or with revenues barely exceeding expenses (by 2 percent or less). As a result, many nonprofits must draw on retained earnings (net assets) to cover costs. The new overtime pay require­ments will prove particularly challenging for those organizations with little to no financial cushion, since they may not have the capacity to increase wages without sacrificing key services or programs.

Indiana Government Officials and Nonprofit Property Taxes

This briefing assesses local government officials’ opinions on nonprofit property tax policies, PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes), and SILOTs (services in lieu of taxes). The Indiana State Constitution authorizes local governments to exempt nonprofits from property taxes if they engage in certain charitable activities.These policies are designed to benefit nonprofits and acknowledge the public value that they create. Similarly, governmental buildings (e.g., courthouses, public schools, city community centers) also are excluded from property taxes.

Faced with decreasing revenues and growing budgets, however, some municipalities are reconsidering nonprofit property tax exemptions. Cities and counties rely heavily on property taxes to fund essential services like schools, police and fire departments, garbage collection and snow removal, road construction and maintenance, public libraries, etc. Some local governments have instituted PILOTs and SILOTs to recover a portion of the revenue they would receive if nonprofit and public properties were taxed. Many nonprofits, which have also found themselves cash-strapped after the recent recession, oppose such policies.

Indiana Government Officials and Trust in Nonprofits

This briefing examines the extent to which local government officials say they trust local charities and other nonprofits to do the “right thing. Overall, Indiana local government officials say they trust local nonprofits more than they trust local businesses or other units of local government, and much more than they trust the state government in Indianapolis or the federal government. The briefing also examines a number of possible explanations for why local government officials may trust local charities and other nonprofits, such as their personal involvement with nonprofits, political and economic conditions in their communities, and having good working relationships with nonprofits.

When considering all factors together, higher levels of trust were found among LGOs who:

  • Are personally involved with nonprofits related to philanthropy and promotion of voluntarism or with law, advocacy, and political nonprofits
  • Trust other local institutions
  • Work in metropolitan counties
  • Govern in counties with relatively low levels of aggregate nonprofit revenues.

The type of position held by LGOs is also important as trust is relatively low among LGOs who are mayors, council members, or township trustees.

Trust in nonprofits—the belief that they will ‘do the right thing’—makes it easier for government officials to rely on nonprofits to deliver services and to include nonprofits in a variety of collaborative efforts.

—Kirsten Grønbjerg