City Contracting and Social Services

How can New York City improve contracting for nonprofit organizations to improve service delivery and outcomes?

The City has made meaningful reforms to improve nonprofit contracting over the past eight years. Yet, a range of policy problems exist with the ways the City contracts with nonprofit organizations. This paper examines three areas of policy reform for New York City to improve how it contracts with nonprofit organizations: 1) the contracting process; 2) City contract structures; and 3) race and wage equity related to City contracting; and provides policy recommendations in these three areas.

View the Paper

By Chai Jindasurat

How are equity and racial justice inextricably linked to New York City's economic recovery?

The City’s procurement processes are governed by a complex scheme of the City Charter, Procurement Policy Board, state statutes, and federal regulations. The City has made meaningful reforms to improve nonprofit contracting over the past eight years. Yet policy problems persist in the ways the city contracts with nonprofits. This paper examines race and wage equity related to City contracting.

View the Paper

By Chai Jindasurat and Anna Quinn

How can New York City develop and utilize a better procurement model to deliver human services to address human needs in a transformative way?

Human services are procured in New York City based on a competitive model, which is not ideal; competition and low bids make sense for pens, construction, and towing contracts, but not for human centered services where individuals, families, and communities have unique needs. At the same time, competition is good, as human services organizations should demonstrate competency, successful outcomes, and new providers should be able to enter the system. When you couple this onerous procurement system with underfunding, the result is a system that does not operate to truly address the systems that perpetuate inequities. How do we better utilize the competitive procurement model to better implement transformative human services? The answer sounds remarkably simple: collaboration. 

View the Paper

By Michelle Jackson

What can New York City do to make operating nonprofit service providers more stable and viable?

The New York City government is mandated to provide critical social safety net services to city residents. The City’s government relies on nonprofits to provide nearly all of these services, from feeding those who were made food-insecure during the COVID-19 pandemic to providing safe shelter to those experiencing homelessness. So, while nonprofits and government are partners in addressing critical and needed services for families and individuals in New York, the City’s current contracting practices can cause harm to the communities and the nonprofit workforce that serves them. Nonprofits need equitable, fair contracts and adequate funding to cover the costs of providing critical services that all New York City residents rely on for themselves and their neighbors.

View the Paper

By Jina Paik and Deirdre Flynn