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Council of Nonprofits in the News

Nonprofits Hold Out Hope for Tax Bill Despite Setbacks

Posted: 
December 10, 2014

Tim Delaney, president of the National Council of Nonprofits, said a deal that extends the benefits for the current tax year on the full slate of extenders is "useless" to his organization’s members. This late in the year, he said, people of age 70&frac; or older aren’t likely to be able to take advantage of the IRA "rollover" provisions that allow them to deduct from their income gifts to charity made from their retirement accounts. Similarly, the tax incentive for donations to food banks is also useless this late in the year, he said.

Mr. Delaney said he was frustrated by Democratic lawmaker’s preference for a one-year extension of the broader extender package. "It’s either ignorance or an insult," he said.

On Wednesday afternoon, a coalition of nonprofit organizations — including Delaney’s group, the Council on Foundations, Feeding America, Independent Sector, and the Land Trust Alliance — called on rank-and-file Democratic members to buck their leadership and vote for the bill. "The legislation’s impact on low-income Americans, underserved populations, communities of color, and the nation’s community food banks cannot be overstated," they wrote in a statement.

Salvation Army has slow seasonal start

Posted: 
December 4, 2014

Nationwide, fewer people are cutting checks to charities in person and more people are giving online, said Rick Cohen, spokesman for the National Council of Nonprofits.

The Salvation Army, too, is trying to promote online giving at OnlineRedKettle.org. Individuals, groups and companies can set up their own online red kettle link, becoming a virtual bell-ringer for a ZIP code they designate.

“You're seeing a lot more inventive things like that,” said Cohen, such as the recent news that Girl Scouts have started selling cookies online. For The Salvation Army, online giving could produce more $5 or $10 donations as opposed to the pocket change a shopper has on hand, he added.

Tax Policies Top Agenda For Lame Duck Congress

Posted: 
December 2, 2014

“The end-of-year tax bill is on everyone’s list of ‘must-pass’ legislation because Congress can do what it wants,” said David Thompson, vice president, public policy, for the National Council of Nonprofits. “The absolute unified push is to make those three charitable provisions permanent, regardless of what they do with other incentives,” he said.

The legislation also would allow taking a deduction on charitable gifts until April 15 of the following tax year, and reduce the excise tax rate on private foundations’ investment income from 2 percent to 1 percent. The Senate Finance Committee had proposed the full extenders package through next year, he said.

There’s less unanimity on making April 15 the deadline, according to Thompson, and the excise tax provision has been talked about for a long time. “There’s plenty of good reason to do it,” he said.

Arizona food banks struggle in battle against hunger

Posted: 
November 25, 2014

According to the National Council of Nonprofits, Congress has approved each of the expired giving incentives multiple times in the past, but only on a temporary basis. Each incentive has proven to be effective, yet Congress repeatedly lets them expire, creating uncertainty around giving.

Currently, nearly 1 in 5 Arizonans and more than 1 in 4 Arizona children struggle with hunger and poverty. That's 17.8% percent and 28.2 percent respectively.

Republican’s Senate Wins Boost Prospects of Tax Changes for Nonprofits

Posted: 
November 5, 2014

A bill passed by the House, the "American Gives More Act," would make the charitable tax provisions permanent and give people until April 15 to claim a tax deduction on charitable gifts made the previous year.

The best chance for passage of those items is during the final two months of the current Congress, according to David Thompson, vice president for public policy at the National Council of Nonprofits.

"We want to resolve our issues now while we still can," he says.

Unhappy with your raise this year? In Washington, you’re not alone.

Posted: 
October 19, 2014

Industry representatives say hiring and pay decisions are driven by the need for specific skills in navigating the grant funding pipelines and soliciting donations. Nonprofits rely on a variety of funding sources for their revenue, but private donations and government contracts are among the largest. While government contracts are still in short supply, donations are beginning to rebound for the first time since the recession, prompting many nonprofits to invest more heavily in people who are adept at soliciting funds.

“It’s easier for people to find out about nonprofits, largely because of social media, so there is pressure on individual nonprofits to stand out a little more,” said Rick Cohen, a spokesman for the National Council of Nonprofits. “Having someone who knows how to navigate the grant system is really important.”

Taxpayers Face Squeeze on IRA Donations as Tax Extenders Languish

Posted: 
October 1, 2014

The National Council of Nonprofits, which represents smaller organizations, has “cautious optimism” that Congress will extend the IRA rollover provision in 2014, David Thompson, the group's vice president of public policy, told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 30. Even with an extension through 2015, though, many modest-sized nonprofits would be hard-pressed to organize fundraising campaigns aimed at such donors in that window, he said.

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The length of any extension may shape which charities benefit most, Thompson said. Big organizations can assemble a fundraising campaign quickly, while smaller groups with limited budgets often can't, he said. A two-year extension helps bigger groups the most, he said.

“Permanence helps small nonprofits,” Thompson said.

Nonprofits replace humdrum charity 5Ks with rappelling

Posted: 
September 17, 2014

“They're looking at ways that their organizations can stand out,” said Rick Cohen, spokesman for the Washington-based National Council of Nonprofits. “It's something that really catches someone's eye on social media, and that's becoming more part of the fundraising dynamic — something that you can see in your friend's Facebook feed and say, ‘I want to be a part of this.' ”

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