The Campaign for 20% started as the Human Infrastructure Group, a subcommittee of Brave Commitments. After an extensive study of the challenges faced by children-, youth- and family-serving organizations, the Human Infrastructure Group determined that the most pressing is the way we are funded.
For the past several years, we have watched organizations and programs close because of funding challenges. For example, one of Brave Commitment’s early members, Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets closed in 2019. Seattle Counseling Services closed in 2022. Almost every organization in Brave Commitments has walked away from at least one government contract on which they lost a painful sum of money every year, some even closing entire programs. And some government contracting opportunities have had no bids from human service organizations who recognize that a win on that particular contract would cause them irreparable financial damage.
In 2022, Brave Commitments made this campaign our top priority, and we opened the campaign to all human service organizations. All of these organizations suffer from the same challenge: we lose 20% or more on of our costs on every contract we have with governmental agencies. Demand from the governmental sector is growing at an unprecedented rate, and our fundraising efforts cannot keep up. We need a change.
We are proud to be working with newly re-elected Washington State Senator Kauffman (47th District) on a bill that would reform contracting processes to make them more equitable. We are asking human services contracting processes be required to use a performance-based, lowest responsible bidder approach, just as other vendors providing services to the State currently are. This will allow human service entities to bid competitively (as we currently do), but without line-item constraints, and with the opportunity to request payment for the full cost of the services we will deliver. We will also be held accountable for outcomes (as we currently are). This is a great first step moving towards a more sustainable human services sector. The bill is currently being drafted by staff and should be in the Code Reviser’s office by the end of this week. We expect Sen. Kauffman to be dropping the bill sometime next week.
Be on the lookout for more updates in the coming weeks – thank you again for your support.
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