urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

View Research by Author - Erwin de Leon

Erwin de Leon

Research Associate
Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center

Erwin de Leon is a research associate at the Urban Institute?s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center. He has authored or co-authored reports and articles on community-based organizations, immigrant nonprofits, government contracting and grants, public education organizations, and stimulus funding of government programs. Prior to joining the Urban Institute, he was a research associate at the Aspen Institute?s Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program and a research fellow at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the Nonprofit Quarterly. He received his M.S. in Nonprofit Management from the New School, where he is completing a Ph.D. in Urban and Public Policy.

MetroTrends blog


Viewing 1-10 of 15. Most recent posts listed first.Next Page >>

The Effect of Government Contracting on Nonprofit Human Service Organizations: Impacts of an Evolving Relationship (Research Report)
Brett Never, Erwin de Leon

Governments contract with human service nonprofits to provide services in complex environments (Frahm & Martin, 2009). This article builds on the robust literature of public contracting for human services, but considers the effect of contracting on the contractor rather than the government. Using the National Survey of Nonprofit Government Contracting and Grants, conducted during the financial recession, we consider how contracting practices are harming trust. We find that human service nonprofits are more likely to cut salaries and jobs due to having government contracts, leading one to question whether the partnership mode of contracting will remain effective.

Posted to Web: July 15, 2014Publication Date: July 15, 2014

Montgomery County Nonprofit Contracts and Grants (Policy Briefs)
Erwin de Leon

Federal, state, and local governments provide resources to nonprofits to deliver services on their behalf, and the main vehicles for this relationship are government contracts and grants. Contracts and grants processes present challenges, and governments and nonprofits - and ultimately their shared constituency - stand to gain by working together to improve the system. This brief describes how community-based organizations and a local government have come together to begin streamlining the process. Government representatives and nonprofit leaders in Montgomery County, Maryland, were interviewed to get a better understanding of contracting issues from both perspectives as well as solutions formulated by those involved.

Posted to Web: November 15, 2013Publication Date: November 13, 2013

Maryland: A Working Model of Nonprofit and Government Collaboration (Research Report)
Erwin de Leon, Sarah L. Pettijohn, Evan Nemoff

Governments depend on nonprofits to supply public services while nonprofit providers rely on government funding. This arrangement manifests itself through contracting and grants processes which are laden with problems that affect both nonprofits and governments, and ultimately, impact people being served. A number of state governments and their nonprofit partners have begun to address issues through initiatives such as streamlining task forces, online procurement systems, and document repositories. This case study documents the efforts of nonprofit leaders, government agencies, and elected officials in the State of Maryland to address problems and streamline a disjointed and complicated contracting and grants system.

Posted to Web: November 15, 2013Publication Date: November 13, 2013

An Assessment of the Strengthening Communities Fund Capacity-Building Program (Research Report)
Carol J. De Vita, Elaine Morley, Erwin de Leon, Saunji Fyffe, Sarah L. Pettijohn

The Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF) authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was designed to build organizational capacity of faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) so they could contribute to economic recovery and help ensure that information and services available through ARRA reached disadvantaged populations. An extensive evaluation undertaken by the Urban Institute assessed SCF services, promising practices, and challenges that emerged during the two-year SCF initiative. It found many FBCOs assisted through SCF reported expanding their organizational capacity, however measuring SCF's return on investment was inconclusive because of the relatively short timeframe that SCF operated.

Posted to Web: November 04, 2013Publication Date: July 11, 2013

Immigrant Legal-Aid Organizations in the United States (Research Report)
Erwin de Leon, Robert Roach

Any enacted immigration reform legislation that is comprehensive in scope will include a path to legalization for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Based on the U.S. Senate bill passed in June 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projects about 8 million people will be eligible for regularization of status, most of whom will likely turn to nonprofits for legal assistance in maneuvering the process. Are there enough immigrant-serving organizations providing legal aid to meet the surge in demand when immigration reform finally happens? This brief begins to answer the question while posing additional ones.

Posted to Web: October 17, 2013Publication Date: October 17, 2013

National Indicators and Social Wealth (Research Report)
Erwin de Leon

In The State of Society, measures of national well-being that go beyond gross domestic product (GDP) are identified. Existing indicators and systems are found lacking in assessing the full economic value of caregiving and the contributions of women. This report presents the results of a meeting of leading experts on national indicators convened by the Urban Institute and the Center for Partnership Studies. Participants considered the strengths and weaknesses of existing indicators that measure social wealth, identified measures that need to be developed, and made recommendations for the placement of social wealth indicators in U.S. National Key Indicator System.

Posted to Web: December 04, 2012Publication Date: December 04, 2012

Community Services Block Grant Administrative Expenses (Research Report)
Erwin de Leon, Sarah L. Pettijohn, Carol J. De Vita

Funders want to know that their funds are being used for the purposes intended and are being spent efficiently and effectively. This is especially true when resources are constrained. This report reviews literature on measuring administrative expenses and analyzes the administrative expenses associated with the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). The administrative expenses of Community Action Agencies that administer CSBG funds are compared to those of similar nonprofit organizations. The study’s findings suggest the need for greater clarity and consistency regarding administrative expenses across federal guidelines; greater training and technical assistance for financial officers who prepare reporting documents; and possibly different benchmarks regarding acceptable levels of administrative expenditures based on size of organization.

Posted to Web: June 26, 2012Publication Date: June 26, 2012

Implementation of Community Services Block Grants under ARRA (Research Report)
Carol J. De Vita, Margaret Simms, Erwin de Leon, Saunji Fyffe, Elaine Morley, Carolyn T. O'Brien, Monica Rohacek, Molly M. Scott, Sarah Ting

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), $1 billion was provided to the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) network to supplement existing CSBG funds to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in local areas and develop strong, healthy, and supportive communities. This report presents the findings of an extensive evaluation to document the services, promising practices, and challenges that emerged during the CSBG ARRA initiative. ARRA represented an unprecedented infusion of funding, accompanied by increased monitoring and accountability. The lessons learned have valuable implications for CSBG and the CSBG network. Fieldwork was conducted in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Washington.

Posted to Web: June 26, 2012Publication Date: June 26, 2012

Nonprofit-Government Contracting in the Nation's Capital: Challenges and Opportunities (Research Brief)
Erwin de Leon

Findings from the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy’s National Survey of Nonprofit-Government Contracting and Grants show that a majority of human service organizations in Washington, D.C. are struggling due in part to challenges posed by working with the government in providing programs and services to District residents. At a forum of nonprofit leaders and government representatives, participants confirmed the study’s findings, shed light on issues unique to the city, and proposed initial recommendations to address some contracting challenges.

Posted to Web: March 15, 2011Publication Date: March 14, 2011

Human Service Nonprofits and Government Collaboration: Findings from the 2010 National Survey of Nonprofit Government Contracting and Grants (Research Report)
Elizabeth T. Boris, Erwin de Leon, Katie L. Roeger, Milena Nikolova

This report explores the results of the 2010 National Survey of Nonprofit-Government Contracting and Grants, a study of human service organizations designed to document the extent of nonprofit-government contracting, processes and problems. It also examines the impact of the recession on these organizations and the cutbacks they have made to keep their programs operating. While contracting problems are not new, many are exacerbated by the deep recession that has reduced government budgets and private contributions. Nearly 33,000 human service nonprofits have government contracts and grants, and 9,000 organizations with expenditures over 100,000 were surveyed for this study.

Posted to Web: October 07, 2010Publication Date: October 07, 2010

 Next Page >>

Return to list of authors

Email this Page