Sunday, June 10, 2012

Congress Today Is Considering Real Impendements To the Nonprofit Sector and If We Stop And Note Many Public Services and Institutions Are Nonprofits - These Proposals Could Effect Every American Life

The reality is that right now our nation's leadership is looking at the nonprofit sector not only as one that can do with less (or even wholly without) in the federal budget, it may be an American business sector that they turn to in order to raise new taxes - or both.

These potential broad swath impacts are not just the American nonprofit sector's issues but rather issues that potentially will effect every American life if we remember that hospitals, libraries, schools, and other basic American institutions are often nonprofit organizations.  This is big stuff that must be addressed and we must address these federal budgetary and legal proposals now.

Mark Rosenman Director of Caring To Change wrote an Opinion editorial for the Chronicle of Philanthropy June 6, 2012 called How Nonprofits Can Fight 'Taxmageddon' in which he asks us nonprofit volunteers, staff, and supporters to familiarize ourselves with what is currently going on in Congress that could on an unprecedented level introduce legislation that will not only significantly lessen how much federal funding different nonprofits causes receive (by both the Democrats and the Republicans) but it is stunning to understand that nonprofit organizations, a business entity that has operated in this nation tax free because we provide necessary services at no profit, are today facing taxation.

To quote Rosenman,

"...Our nation desperately needs nonprofit leaders to step up to help Americans understand the dangerous course lawmakers are pursuing and what it means for ordinary citizens and the organizations that try to serve them. ...

"...The stakes now are huge for charities, foundations, and communities across America. The way Congress and presidential candidates resolve the fiscal issues we face today will determine our future for years to come. Policy choices made now could sharply worsen the quality of life for the overwhelming majority of Americans. We may well find both government and nonprofits without the resources to moderate the gravely deteriorating circumstances we face as individuals and as a society. ..."

In this blog I have written twice on this same subject with the same concern and urgency that Rosenman feels and tries to impart.

Some U.S. States Considering Taxing Nonprofits To Make Up for Empty Coffers

and even more pertinent:

What Does A Nonprofit Do That's Facing Being Taxed?

To return to Rosenman's piece sourced above - not only does he report the very current issues the American citizens and communities and the nonprofit sector, as well, is facing today from he also provides suggestions (that are even legal for nonprofit or charity 501(c)(3) entities to do despite our being restricted from lobbying legally).

As I've stated in my two posts on the topic, before, and as Rosenman infers - the time is now for those of us in the nonprofit sector to: first, get current on federal budgetary issues and potentially proposed legislation; next, work together to clarify our unique sectors' value to this nation for our leadership and declare what this sector simply can and cannot do (both in fundraising and services provided); and then tell our organizations' beneficiaries, supporters, and our federal representatives what it is our sector needs... or rather, what we want to see happen in our nation's future where nonprofits (and their beneficiaries) are concerned.

This is important.  It is larger than our sector, as a whole.  What our sector does right now to act on its own behalf and speak up to our representatives may have extant and lasting effects on how much and how effectively Americans are served by our sector but, and even more ominously if they will even be able to access our organizations any longer.

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