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National Council of Nonprofits


Happy New Year!

This year’s first edition of Nonprofit Advocacy Matters explains why we publish the newsletter and offers what we hope, collectively, the nonprofit community can accomplish over the next 12 months. We also share three blog postings we hope are of use to nonprofit professionals seeking to make sense of the past year’s advocacy successes and challenges. It also seeks your thoughts about what to anticipate and actions to take in the year ahead.


Why We Publish This Newsletter

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 tampering with charitable giving incentives, imposing taxes on tax-exempt organizations, encroaching on nonprofits’ independence and decision-making, and adopting costly or unreasonable regulations. Nonprofits need timely access to the latest information about policy threats and opportunities that AdMat provides in order to be able to advocate for their missions.


This newsletter serves as a critical part of the flywheel of both gathering information from and sharing analyses with 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 AdMat 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 a stronger advocacy muscle for the 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.


Please read this “AdMat roadmap” on the values and substance that goes into preparing each biweekly edition of Nonprofit Advocacy Matters, as well as a guide to how you can use the information.


Thank you.

From the Blogs

Repealing the Tax on Tax-Exempts Was the Work of (Many, Many) People ** NEW **

Transportation TaxThere’s a saying that victory has a thousand parents and defeat is an orphan. That adage became especially applicable once the President signed into law the repeal of the tax on nonprofit transportation benefits. The repeal is a community-wide accomplishment to celebrate, thanks to thousands of individuals and organizations united in common purpose.


What did it take to secure the repeal? It’s easy to learn from mistakes, but harder to learn from success without giving special attention. So, let’s look back at the work done over the last 20 months to see what can be learned from this collective achievement. Continue reading about repeal of the transportation tax ….

Public Policy Progress: 2019 in Review ** NEW **

ChecklistBefore 2019 completely slips away, let’s celebrate the positive achievements for the work of nonprofits in the public policy arenas of legislatures, executive agencies, and courts at the federal, state, and local levels this past year. Continue reading about nonprofit policy progress in all branches and levels of government ….

Can Nonprofits Promote Census Engagement?

Census 2020By now, everyone knows that charitable nonprofits have vital interests at stake – including dollars, data, and democracy – to make sure the 2020 census produces quality counts. But as 501(c)(3) organizations, can they advocate for and otherwise promote a fair, accurate, and complete count? A related question concerns whether such activities constitute prohibited partisan electioneering: since various partisans have tried to turn the 2020 census into a political weapon, can charitable organizations promote participating in the census without risking their tax-exempt status? Learn how nonprofits can engage in the 2020 census …. (Spoiler alert - yes, nonprofits can engage in census-related work!)

Great Resolutionaries

“I’ll never go hungry again!” Scarlett O’Hara famously pledged. “I shall return,” was Gen. Douglas McArthur’s vow as he left the Philippines in 1942. "I will survive," crooned the disco diva Gloria Gaynor. These luminaries from literature, history, and entertainment made these great resolutions in times of travail. To us, that makes them Great Resolutionaries.


What resolutions for 2020 do you propose for the nonprofit community? Is it time that everyone commits to advocacy to advance the missions of nonprofits, individually and collectively? Are there bills, regulations, or court cases potentially affecting nonprofits that everyone should know about – and weigh in on? Is there a priority area that’s desperately in need of leadership in the sector?


Tell us your resolutions and policy predictions for the nonprofit community.