Shortly after the United States entered World War II, Academy Award winning director Frank Capra commenced a film project for the U.S. War Department that became the seven-part series known as Why We Fight. Capra’s charge from the Army Chief of Staff was to explain “why we are fighting, and the principles for which we are fighting.”
That same mission, figuratively, has guided this newsletter since its inception in 2010. Here at the beginning of the New Year, with a new newsletter name (Nonprofit Champion) and format, we remind ourselves and share with you why we write this publication and reiterate the principles on which it stands.
We believe that to be successful, nonprofits – just like for-profit businesses and governmental entities – need a supportive and reliable policy environment in which to operate. Nonprofits can be neither efficient nor effective in improving the lives of individuals and strengthening communities when governments are undercutting their ability to function, such as by curbing charitable giving incentives, imposing needlessly complex contracting criteria, encroaching on nonprofits’ independence and decision-making, and adopting costly or unreasonable regulations.
Also, we believe that nonprofits need timely access to the latest information and analysis about policy threats and opportunities that the Nonprofit Champion, formerly Nonprofit Advocacy Updates, provides to help nonprofits advocate directly or collectively for their missions. We believe this so much that, as part of our commitment to equity, we make our content-rich newsletters available for free rather than blocked behind paywalls, thus ensuring that cost isn’t a barrier to any nonprofit professional getting access to the information they need to advance their mission.
This newsletter serves as a critical part of the flywheel of both gathering real-world information from front-line nonprofits and sharing analyses back out to the nonprofit community about emerging policy challenges and developments. The articles presented in each edition reflect the scope of the work of the National Council of Nonprofits as we engage with our nonprofit networks and others across the country to identify and evaluate public policy developments at the federal, state, and local levels and then advocate for (and alongside) nonprofits in legislative bodies, regulatory agencies, and the courts.
In each edition, we share information so nonprofits can learn about and track items enabling them to take action as they see fit. A few times each year, we use this advocacy and policy newsletter to ask for your insights from the real world to inform policymakers and other advocates, thereby turning the newsletter into a conduit for nonprofits of all types to share their information and perspectives to build stronger advocacy muscle for the broad nonprofit community. Other times we use it to announce Action Alerts so nonprofits know it’s time to engage on particular legislative and regulatory policy threats or opportunities.
And finally, each edition highlights research, quotes, and other inspirational materials, including the Advocacy in Action essays that demonstrate the power, creativity, and impact of representatives from charitable nonprofits as they advance their missions through advocacy.
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