Washington Snapshot

Washingon Snapshot: Philanthropy’s Day of Action on the Charitable Act

Friday, September 29, 2023 - 1:43 pm
Government Affairs Team
Council Connection: Updates for Council Members

Public policy news and updates for the philanthropic sector

Legislative Alert

Join Philanthropy’s Day of Action on the Charitable Act
The Council will join our partner, United Philanthropy Forum, for a day of action on October 4 to promote the Charitable Act (S.566/H.R.3435). Small charitable gifts increased after Congress temporarily enacted a charitable deduction for nonitemizers in 2020. According to IRS data and analysis by the National Council of Nonprofits, those nonitemizers donated $10.9 billion that year. With added pressures on the sector, especially with the threat of a government shutdown, Congress can take meaningful action to support nonprofits and philanthropies by supporting the Charitable Act.

Join foundation and nonprofit peers in reaching out to your members of Congress to ask them to support this legislation, or consider meeting with their offices virtually to discuss the importance of charitable giving.

Take Action: Ask your lawmakers to cosponsor the Charitable Act (S. 566/H.R. 3435).

For support reaching out to your members of Congress, or if you have any questions around the rules and guidelines of nonprofit lobbying and advocacy, email govt@cof.org.

What We're Tracking in DC

Government shutdown imminent
We’re just one day away from federal funding running out and the government shutting down. If Congress doesn’t pass a short-term continuing resolution — legislation to keep the government open, usually at current spending levels — many government services will cease operations next week. While the Senate seems to have bipartisan consensus on a continuing resolution that includes additional aid to Ukraine, some House Republicans fervently oppose it. With margins extremely tight, this bill is unlikely to pass the House. Meanwhile, some House Republicans have advocated for additional border security funding in the continuing resolution. At this point, a government shutdown seems extremely likely, and the path to funding the government remains unclear. Read more about the potential impact of a government shutdown.

Federal Government Opportunities and Updates

  • The White House, in partnership with eight federal agencies, clarified the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s protections against antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other discrimination.
  • Applications for the Economic Development Administration’s Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program are due on October 5. Nonprofits are eligible to apply for this program, which seeks to create economic opportunity in left-behind parts of the U.S. The EDA will host office hours on Wednesday, October 4 at 4pm ET for potential applicants.
  • The Internal Revenue Service provided guidance for employer leave-based donation programs aimed at supporting Hawaii wildfire victims. Cash payments made to charitable organizations during 2023 and 2024 in exchange for employees’ sick, vacation, or personal leave will not be treated as income, and the employees donating their leave for this purpose cannot claim a deduction for it.   

Happening in the States

American Rescue Plan Act Investments in Nonprofits
More than two years after $350 billion in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF) were distributed to governments with express authorization to spend their allocations on charitable nonprofits, state and local governments continue to award funds to nonprofits to carry out their missions. Recent examples include a Building Nonprofit Capacity Grant Program in Johnson County, Iowa, more than $1 million in awards by Vicksburg, Mississippi for initiatives in education and mental health, and direct grants to fill funding gaps at 25 nonprofits in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Taxes, Fees, PILOTs Update

  • Taxes: A pair of Pennsylvania bills would amend state law to clarify that there is no tax exemption for any portion of real property owned by a charitable institution that is used for a commercial purpose or that is not actually and regularly used for the principal purpose of the organization.
  • PILOTs: Four higher education institutions have agreed to increase payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) to $223.4 million over twenty years under a new memorandum of understanding with the City of Providence, Rhode Island.

Upcoming Events

Keep in Touch!

Please feel free to reach out to any of us on the Government Relations Team with comments or concerns, or to share an issue, article, event, or op-ed you would like to see covered in a future Washington Snapshot.

View this email as a web page.

Shared purpose. Collective voice. Greater impact.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on all
Public Policy