By tracking regional and national trends, the National Council of Nonprofits identifies how policies and practices at all levels of government – local, state, and federal – are increasing demands on community-based nonprofits and reducing the resources that those organizations need to meet their missions. We are known for the Special Reports and unique tools we produce that inform charitable nonprofit staff and board members, as well as policymakers, about public policy challenges and opportunities. When necessary, we mobilize our network to resist efforts by states and localities seeking to take funds away from nonprofit missions through new taxes, fees, and demands for payments in lieu of taxes. We work to protect nonprofit independence from unwarranted government intrusion, while also promoting ways for governments and nonprofits to collaborate to solve community challenges. In all our work, we strive to inform policymakers, journalists, the public, and indeed other nonprofits about the vital role that charitable nonprofits play in benefiting the communities they serve.
Our 2015 Public Policy Agenda identifies the issues of prime importance to our network in 2015. Our bi-weekly policy newsletter, Nonprofit Advocacy Matters, is our primary communications vehicle for alerting nonprofits and the public to important news and developing trends.
A Unique Focus: State and Local Public Policy
Because most changes to public policies that influence charitable nonprofits occur at the state and local levels, the primary focus of our network is on state and local, rather than federal, policy. (The image below illustrates the number of laws that were passed and signed into law at the federal level versus the state level in 2014.) With the help of our State Associations, we actively monitor what is happening in state capitals across the country to identify developments state by state, connecting the dots so that charitable nonprofits can see trends, share information, craft solutions, and mobilize for action.