Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Nonprofit Sector and Community Solutions Act H.R. 5533

The Nonprofit Sector And Community Solutions Act, H.R. 5533 I.R., was proposed June 16th, to Congress, by Minnesota's Representative Betty McCollum (D), to "...This bill is one of the first federal initiatives to address the nonprofit sector as a whole. It will take the first steps toward integrating the nonprofit sector into the federal policy making process by establishing formal structures in Congress and federal administrative agencies focused on the success of nonprofits." []

To quote the National Council of Nonprofits about this bill, "...Despite the importance of the nonprofit sector to the U.S. economy and to the success of many federal, state and local policy initiatives, no federal agency or congressional committee has responsibility for evaluating, building or maintaining the capacity of the nonprofit sector, and government does not collect the data necessary to make sound policy decisions that have measurable impacts in communities." []

The nonprofit sector is a major part of the United State's economy, as an employer and consumer in our national market; but also, as I state in my blog post Some U.S. States Considering Taxing Nonprofits To Make Up for Empty Coffers , "...the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy's 2009 study, "Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities" that found "Research on nearly 70 nonprofits from New Mexico, North Carolina, Minnesota and Los Angeles County over a five year period showed that these groups combined generated nearly $14 billion worth of benefits for their diverse communities, and many other non-monetary gains. The return for every dollar invested in these groups ranged from $89 to a staggering $157.""  This is a sector that is also providing a great deal of public service, assistance, research, and more.  This sector is uniquely vulnerable, as well, as most nonprofits raise funds, year round, to provide their services: of course, at no profit.

This kind of proactive relationship between the U.S. federal government and the nonprofit sector, as a whole, may not just be better for the American public and other beneficiaries of American nonprofits' work.  It might be an extremely timely relationship building mechanism as the difficult economy has trounced the nonprofit sector.

The National Council of Nonprofits, in the middle of their post on this proposed bill, recommends:

"What Nonprofits Can Do

"Sign up to show your organization’s support for the legislation;

"Use the sample letter to contact your Representatives and urge them to co-sponsor the Nonprofit Sector and Community Solutions Act. You can click on the map on this House of Representatives page to get a list of the Representatives from your state;

"Contact your Senators and encourage them to introduce the Nonprofit Sector and Community Solutions Act in the Senate.

"Take advantage of the August Recess to introduce, impress, and influence your Senators and Representatives."

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