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IS Issues Nonprofit Policy Platform

January 08, 2009

The following nonprofit policy proposals for the incoming administration were developed, with the help of an advisory committee and hundreds of charities and foundations, by our colleagues at Independent Sector:

1. Ensure adequate resources and fair responsible fiscal policies to support vital programs that sustain, protect and strengthen communities.

2. Preserve and expand policies that help Americans give back to their communities.

3. Ensure that nonprofits have the capacity and capital to serve the needs of our communities.

4. Protect the rights of Americans to speak out through nonprofit organizations.

5. Ensure that Americans are able to continue vital charitable work throughout the world without unduly jeopardizing their safety or their civil rights.

6. Support funding and policies that provide for transparency and accountability to ensure integrity and public trust in our institutions.

It's a great platform, with many more details and specific recommendations than I've provided here. Do be sure to give it some of your time: http:///www.independentsector.org/programs/gr/2009_Nonprofit_Platform.htm

I wonder, though. Will the press of events and soaring budget deficits allow the Obama administration to be "nonprofit-friendly"? And are the sector's expectations for the incoming administration aligned with reality? Your thoughts...?

-- Mitch Nauffts

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Posted by DJ  |   January 09, 2009 at 10:05 AM

--I wonder, though. Will the press of events and soaring budget deficits allow the Obama administration to be "nonprofit-friendly"? --

He doesn't have to make the deficit "soar" so much you know. He's the one (to be fair, along with congress) who is pushing a "spend our way out of this" plan that will take the deficit to the moon. Or maybe Venus.

I'm starting to belive that the best the nonprofit sector can hope for the next few years is to fly under the radar of the congress, who is going to be looking for every private dollar they can lay their grubby hands on post-"stimulus"

Posted by Scott Rooks  |   January 10, 2009 at 12:42 PM

I believe President Elect Obama has his roots in nonprofit grassroots community organizations. His interest are there for sure but he will not get the time he likes to pay much attention to nonprofits until he retires.

What I think will derail that is the 2 middle eastern conflicts, Israel/Hamas war, and the economic front. There are just so many hours in the day for this President to focus /refocus. No doubt he has his hands full.

What I think nonprofits should be doing is communicating on two fronts. 1) Major donors and there needs and 2) the masses of small donors and volunteers. That will be their key to survival.

Its all well and good that the aforementioned foundations plan to do everything they can and even though we will still see some government grants they both will fall short. Thus requiring nonprofits to be active, aggressive and communicate often and well to the masses or close shop and go home.

Thanks for keeping us up on the current situation and helping to keep it in the forefront of everyones thoughts.

Posted by Renee Westmoreland  |   January 10, 2009 at 04:31 PM

DJ --

Let's not forget it was the Bush administration, through negligence and sheer incompetence, that was responsible for boosting this year's deficit to $1.2 trillion -- the largest, as a percentage of GDP, since the days of that other great fiscal "conservative" Ronald Reagan. I'm not a fan of massive deficit spending to get us out of our current mess, but let's not forget who got us into the mess in the first place.

Posted by Renee Westmoreland  |   January 10, 2009 at 04:41 PM

Scott, I couldn't agree more -- President-elect Obama has his work cut out for him. And I don't think the nonprofit sector should count on the Obama administration riding to its rescue. In fact, I think we're likely to see the opposite: the new administration turning to nonprofits for ideas, replicable models and energy. Regardless of how the relationship evolves, one thing is certain: there will be lots of shared sacrifice to go around.

Posted by DJ  |   January 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Shared Sacrifice?

No thanks. I've sacrificed quite enough to the same govt * (and that includes both R and D) that got us into this mess. It is time for the govt to sacrifice some of their pork and spending and pet ideas. I notice Congress gave themselves a pay raise. "Shared sacrifice" indeed.

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