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Philanthropy Southeast's Blog

Engage, Philanthropy Southeast's blog, is a space for members, staff and partners to share their thoughts on the latest trends and best practices in philanthropy. Engage is also used for important announcements about upcoming Philanthropy Southeast events and programs.

Do you have a story or insight you’d like to share with our members on Engage? Contact David Miller, vice president of strategic communications, at david@philanthropysoutheast.org or at (404) 524-0911 to discuss your idea.

 

 
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Public Policy Update - May 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast

May10

Each month, Philanthropy Southeast provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@philanthropysoutheast.org.

 

Bill to Create Nonprofit Office in the White House Introduced 

On April 26, Reps. Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced the Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership Act, which would create a new nonprofit-focused office in the White House. The legislation aims to improve coordination between the federal government and the nonprofit sector, and the nonprofit office would make policy recommendations, coordinate the release of data on the sector gathered by federal agencies, and seek to make it easier for nonprofits to access federal grants, among other activities.

The legislation has significant support from many in the charitable sector, including Philanthropy Southeast, which joined with over 500 other organizations to sign onto a letter endorsing the bill.  

When Rep. McCollum introduced similar legislation in 2010, concerns were raised by some in the sector that a new White House office could turn into a regulatory body and politicize nonprofits depending on which party holds the White House. Similar concerns are being raised with the current bill, with some arguing this type of office would imperil the independence of the nonprofit sector.

If no action is taken on the bill this year, it is worth noting that Rep. Upton is retiring at the end of this Congress, so proponents of the bill will likely need to find a new GOP lead sponsor.

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Public Policy Update - April 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast

Apr12

p style="text-align:start">Each month, Philanthropy Southeast provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@philanthropysoutheast.org.

 

 

Biden Budget Proposes Changes to Rules Governing Private Foundation Use of DAFs

Late last month, the White House released its budget proposal, which lays out President Biden’s spending priorities for fiscal 2023. The budget proposal was also accompanied by the “Greenbook” from the U.S. Treasury Department, which details proposals related to taxes and other federal revenue.

One proposed change may be of interest to private foundations: a provision that would disallow private foundations from counting distributions to donor-advised funds (DAFs) toward their 5 percent minimum payout requirement unless funds are distributed from the DAF by the end of the following year.

The proposal arrives five years after the Treasury Department put out an official notice of its intent to regulate in this space, so this proposal sheds light on how the administration may be approaching that notice.

Similar to last year, this proposal does not include a cap on itemized deductions, and therefore the charitable deduction. However, there was also no inclusion of a non-itemizer charitable deduction, also known as a universal charitable deduction, that was enacted on a temporary basis in 2020 and expired at the end of 2021, as requested by several charitable organizations ahead of the budget release.

The White House budget proposal acts as a “wish list” for the administration and provides a basis for congressional negotiations, so it is possible that some or none of these proposals wind up being enacted. As the budgeting process continues, we will keep you updated on any provisions relevant to philanthropy’s work.

 

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Public Policy Update - March 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast

Mar08

Each month, Philanthropy Southeast provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@philanthropysoutheast.org.

 

Foundations on the Hill is One Month Away!

We're one month away from Foundations on the Hill 2022, your best opportunity all year to discuss the impact and importance of your work with policymakers who represent you in Washington.

Like last year, Foundations on the Hill 2022 will take place online, making it easy to participate no matter where you are.

Why attend Foundations on the Hill? Here are a few reasons:

•    Inform and educate lawmakers and key staff members about the work you do and how it supports people in your community
•    Advocate for policies and priorities that amplify the impact of your work and improve lives
•    Build relationships and partnerships with lawmakers that can offer lasting benefits
•    Help lawmakers understand the importance of philanthropy within their own districts and states

Foundations on the Hill is designed for newcomers and policy veterans alike! The Philanthropy Southeast staff will support you and your colleagues by facilitating meetings, offering trainings and providing you with compelling materials that help you tell your story.

Want to learn more about FOTH? View the recording of our recent webinar, Why You Belong at Foundations on the Hill!

Already planning to attend FOTH? Join us March 29 for FOTH 2022: What You Need to Know!

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Public Policy Update - February 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast

Feb09

Each month, Philanthropy Southeast provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@philanthropysoutheast.org.
 

Registration Now Open for Virtual Foundations on the Hill
 

REGISTER

 

Foundations on the Hill 2022, taking place April 5-7, will provide philanthropic leaders their best opportunity all year to discuss the impact and importance of their work with the policymakers who represent them in Washington.

Like last year, Foundations on the Hill 2022 will take place online, making it easy to participate no matter where you are.

Why attend Foundations on the Hill? Here are a few reasons:

  • Inform and educate lawmakers and key staff members about the work you do and how it supports people in your community
  • Advocate for policies and priorities that amplify the impact of your work and improve lives
  • Build relationships and partnerships with lawmakers that can offer lasting benefits
  • Help lawmakers understand the importance of philanthropy within their own districts and states

Foundations on the Hill is designed for newcomers and policy veterans alike! The Philanthropy Southeast staff will support you and your colleagues by facilitating meetings, offering trainings and providing you with compelling materials that help you tell your story.

You can also register now for two upcoming webinars that will ensure you're prepared for Foundations on the Hill:

Why You Belong at Foundations on the Hill
Thursday, February 24 at 10:00am (ET) / 9:00am (CT)

FOTH 2022: What You Need to Know
Tuesday, March 29 at 2:00pm (ET) / 1:00pm (CT)

During Foundations on the Hill, you'll also be able to attend sessions presented by our partners at the United Philanthropy Forum, Independent Sector and Council on Foundations that will help you understand the current legislative aspect and help you engage with policy and advocacy year-round!

 

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Public Policy Update - January 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast

Jan11

Each month, Philanthropy Southeast provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@secf.org.

 

Virtual Foundations on the Hill Returns in April

The year’s most important philanthropic advocacy event, Foundations on the Hill, will once again be held virtually this year – it will also be held a bit later than normal, with this year’s event taking place April 5-7, a change from the March dates announced last year.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, many Capitol Hill offices are not allowing visitors and the Capitol itself remains closed to the public. Virtual Foundations on the Hill, however, will allow philanthropic leaders to connect with lawmakers and key staff without the need for travel or a hotel, making it an ideal opportunity for anyone interested in advocating for policies that support philanthropy and the vital work it supports in communities across the region.

Registration for Foundations on the Hill 2022 will open later this month – keep an eye on your email for further updates!

 

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Public Policy Update - December 2021

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast

Dec16

Each month, Philanthropy Southeast provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, Philanthropy Southeast’s vice president of member engagement, at jaci@secf.org.

 

Federal Aid Promised for Communities Affected by Tornadoes

In the wake of deadly storms and tornadoes that have devastated communities and caused dozens of deaths in Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee and other states, the federal government has announced it will provide disaster assistance in counties as they begin what is expected to be a long recovery.

In Kentucky, the state that suffered the worst impacts of the tornadoes, President Biden announced that federal disaster funds will provide 100 percent coverage for debris removal and emergency protective measures for 30 days.

Philanthropy has also stepped up to provide support for communities. The Community Foundation of West Kentucky quickly established a recovery fund that is now accepting donations. The Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation is also accepting donations to support relief in Muhlenberg County.

More details on how you can support recovery and relief in west Kentucky will be provided in this week’s Connect newsletter.

 

Senate Logjam Makes Year-End Extension of Universal Charitable Deduction Unlikely

The universal charitable deduction that has been in place since March 2020 is at risk of expiring, at least temporarily, while Senate Democrats and the White House continue to negotiate on their version of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda.

Typically, the end of the year sees Congress pass a package of so-called tax extenders, which extends expiring tax provisions into the coming year. However, that package has been delayed while the Senate has been occupied with a debt ceiling fix passed earlier this month and a push by Democratic leaders to pass “Build Back Better” legislation before the end of the year.

For 2021, taxpayers who do not itemize their return are able to deduct $300 ($600 for joint filers) of certain qualified charitable contributions – but Congress has yet to act to extend the deduction into 2022 and beyond.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) acknowledged last week that an extenders bill may be necessary to extend the enhanced child tax credit expiring at year’s end if passage of “Build Back Better” slips into 2022. There are several other expiring provisions, both from COVID relief legislation and the 2017 tax bill, that could be included as well.

 

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Public Policy Update - September 2021

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Sep15

Each month, SECF provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, SECF's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@secf.org.

 

Work Continues on $3.5 Trillion “Social Infrastructure” Bill

The $3.5 trillion tax and spending package that forms the centerpiece of President Biden’s domestic agenda is now making its way through the legislative process in the House and Senate.

In the House, the Ways and Means Committee is crafting its part of the bill this week. Democrats suffered a setback today in the Energy and Commerce Committee, where three moderates in the party voted down a plan to allow the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare recipients.

That proposal – long a priority of Democratic leaders – provides a crucial part of the financing for the overall legislation. While it can be added back in, its defeat here reflects the unease some moderates in the party have with the legislation.

Senate Democrats are expected to release their own detailed version of the legislation this week. Over the weekend, moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) indicated he remains opposed to the $3.5 trillion price tag that Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress have set for the bill.

The overall package still has to go through many steps and there are expected to be significant differences between the versions passed by the House and the Senate. We will continue monitoring the legislative package, which aims to address many areas of concern to grantmakers.

 

Hurricane Ida, Flooding Relief Likely to Be Part of Stopgap Spending Bill

The fiscal year ends on September 30 and with none of the regular spending bills passed into law, Congress will have to pass what’s known as a continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown on October 1.

The resolution would keep the government running at existing funding levels. However, it will also likely include new spending to address immediate issues, including disaster relief for areas damaged by Hurricane Ida, flooding in central Tennessee and other natural disasters.

 

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Public Policy Update - July 2021

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul13

Each month, SECF provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, SECF's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@secf.org.

 

Upcoming Member Webinar on the Accelerating Charitable Efforts (ACE) Act  

Register


Join us at 3:00pm ET on Tuesday, July 27, for a special public policy Member Webinar on the Accelerating Charitable Efforts (ACE) Act, legislation introduced last month that would make significant changes to laws governing the work of private foundations and donor-advised funds (DAFs).

Our webinar will review the major provisions of the legislation and what its provisions could mean for donor-advised funds and different types of foundations. We’ll also discuss the prospects for the legislation in Washington.

Joining us will be Sandra Swirski, Sara Barba and other members of the Philanthropy Team at Urban Swirski & Associates, a leading bipartisan Washington, D.C., advocacy firm. 

For more details on the ACE Act and its provisions, read the item below!

 

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Public Policy Update - June 2021

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jun08

Each month, SECF provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, SECF's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@secf.org.

 

Infrastructure Talks Continue, But Bipartisan Compromise Seems Unlikely

In previous Public Policy Updates, we detailed the provisions of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. Since then, both measures have been the subject of prolonged negotiations between the White House and Senate Republicans aimed at producing a bipartisan agreement.

While President Biden met today with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the Senate GOP’s lead negotiator on the package, an agreement still seems unlikely. Both sides have moved somewhat from their earliest positions, but they are still separated by more than a trillion dollars.

Pressure is growing from congressional Democrats to abandon hope for a bipartisan deal and forge ahead with a larger package more in tune with Biden’s original proposals. Passing such a bill would require the use of the fast-track reconciliation process employed for the COVID relief bill signed into law earlier this year.

While the American Jobs Plan is focused primarily on physical infrastructure and public works, the American Families Plan includes funding to boost many parts of the social safety net, including education, health care and childcare.

 

Prospects for Big Legislation Dim After Manchin Reiterates Filibuster Support

Since securing control of the Senate in January, Democrats had hoped to leverage their narrow majorities to pass significant legislation related to voting rights, climate change, health care and a host of other issues.

Advancing bills on any of these topics would have required weakening or eliminating the Senate filibuster, which effectively sets a 60-vote threshold for most legislation – the reconciliation process used for tax and spending legislation is a notable exception.

Any changes to the filibuster would require the support of all 50 Senate Democrats. Over the weekend, however, one of them signaled any change was off the table.

Writing in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) argued members of his party have demonized the filibuster, which he wrote can “make absolute power difficult while still delivering solutions to the issues facing our country.”

In expressing support for the filibuster, Manchin also indicated he would vote against a voting rights package due to its lack of Republican support. However, he still supports another bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, that would restore some parts of the Voting Rights Act nullified by the Supreme Court in 2013’s Shelby County v. Holder decision.

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Public Policy Update - May 2021

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

May11

Each month, SECF provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, SECF's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@secf.org.

 

Second Part of Biden Infrastructure Plan Emphasizes Key Grantmaker Priorities

In our last Public Policy Update, we reviewed President Biden’s $2 billion infrastructure plan – while it did include funding for some items of concern to foundations, particularly broadband access, it was mostly geared toward a big investment in public works projects.

The second part of Biden’s plan, however, focuses on a different type of infrastructure – the social safety net. The $1.8 trillion proposal, known as the American Families Plan, would invest in areas familiar to philanthropy, including education, health care and childcare.

The plan would provide funding for two years of tuition-free community college, universal pre-K, paid family and medical leave and affordable childcare, among other programs. The proposal would be funded in part by $1.5 trillion in tax increases on individuals making more than $400,000.

Biden discussed both the earlier infrastructure plan and the American Families Plan during his address to a joint session of Congress earlier this month. 

In welcome news, the proposal does not include a 28 percent cap on itemized deductions, including the charitable deduction, that Biden floated during his campaign. In advance of the release of the American Families Plan, charitable organizations, including the Charitable Giving Coalition, sent letters to the administration requesting that the charitable deduction be excluded from any proposed caps on itemized deductions, the concern being that limiting the scope of the charitable deduction would significantly reduce charitable giving. 

Democrats in Congress are now beginning the work of moving Biden’s proposals through the legislative process – in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has indicated she would like to pass a version of the plan by July 4. Biden and Democrats have made overtures to Republicans to craft a package with bipartisan support, but if that fails to produce an agreement, they still have the option of using the same budget reconciliation process employed for the COVID relief bill earlier this year. That tool, however, would require Biden to win the support of all 50 Democrats in the Senate, where they have the slimmest possible majority thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

 

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Philanthropy Southeast
100 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 2080
Atlanta, GA 30303

Visiting Philanthropy Southeast:
All staff are working remotely at this time but can still be reached via email and by calling (404) 524-0911.

Hours:
Monday-Thursday from 9:00am–6:00pm (ET)
Friday from 9:00am–12:00pm (ET)


Phone: (404) 524-0911
Fax: (404) 523-5116

Mission: Philanthropy Southeast strengthens Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.