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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 - September 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast

Sep21

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.

 

Universal Charitable Deduction Could Return in Year-End Package

Following their August recess, lawmakers have returned to Washington to take care of must-pass legislation to keep the government running. No other major legislation is expected before the midterm elections, but the post-election lame duck period could see major movement on items important to the charitable sector.

The sector is hoping to see a year-end tax bill include a revival of the universal charitable deduction that expired at the start of this year. Last month, the National Council of Nonprofits led a sign-on letter to Congress and the administration asking lawmakers to renew the universal charitable deduction, boost its cap, and expand the amount donors can deduct from their itemized tax returns, as well as retroactively restore the Employee Retention Tax Credit, extend it through 2022, and modify nonprofit eligibility to include childcare and education subsidies. 

Philanthropy Southeast members will be a valuable voice in any conversation around the universal charitable deduction – keep an eye out for details on how you can take action!   

 

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Public Policy Update - August 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast

Aug16

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.

 

Inflation Reduction Act Makes Big Investments in Health Care and Climate Change

Today, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a $750 billion package that includes several items of interest to philanthropy, nonprofits and the communities they support.

Health Care: Under the legislation, senior citizens on Medicare will see their out-of-pocket drug costs capped at $2,000 per year by 2025. The bill also opens the door to Medicare negotiating drug prices, a change that is expected to lower costs. The bill also extends for three years existing Affordable Care Act subsidies. Households making up to 600 percent of the federal poverty level – $159,000 per year – are eligible for the subsidies.

Climate Change: The bill contains many provisions designed to speed up adoption of renewable energy and reduce usage of fossil fuels. Also included in the bill is $60 billion dedicated to environmental justice and disadvantaged communities that stand to be disproportionately affected by climate change. Nonprofits will be eligible to apply for a variety of grant programs created by the bill.

These provisions and others are paid for largely via increased taxes on corporations and stronger enforcement of existing tax laws. None of the tax changes in the bill will affect the charitable sector.

The Inflation Reduction Act as passed largely reflects the outcome of prolonged negotiations between Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). It passed on party-line votes in both the House and Senate earlier this month.

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Public Policy Update - July 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast

Jul12

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.

 

Democrats Hope to Move Ahead with Scaled-Back Version of ‘Build Back Better’

Last year, congressional Democrats and the Biden administration spent several months hoping to pass an ambitious package of proposals, known as Build Back Better, that would have represented a significant expansion of social safety net programs.

Those plans fell apart when two Senate Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona, objected to the plan due to its scope and proposed tax increases. In the evenly divided Senate, Democrats needed the support of every member of their caucus to pass the bill via the reconciliation process, which forbids the use of the filibuster.

Months later, hopes of passing a slimmed-down package are on the rise. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Manchin have been negotiating on a package that may include proposals on prescription drug pricing, climate change and tax revisions. So far, none of the tax proposals reportedly under consideration would directly affect foundations or donor-advised funds.

If Democrats can agree on a legislative package, party leaders hope to hold a Senate vote on it before the August recess, though that deadline could slip into September.

We will monitor whatever legislation emerges from the ongoing negotiations, particularly any provisions that affect the communities and people philanthropy serves.

 

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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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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:
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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.