Posted By Madeleine McGee Together SC,
Friday, March 24, 2017
Last month, President Trump announced his plan to "get rid of and totally destroy" the federal tax law provision requiring 501(c)(3) nonprofits to be nonpartisan (which has been called the Johnson Amendment). Following up on the President's statement, Congress is seriously considering legislation that would politicize charitable nonprofits and foundations. The National Council of Nonprofits, Together SC and many other charitable nonprofits strongly oppose efforts to politicize charitable nonprofits. These proposals would harm nonprofits by:
Subjecting charitable nonprofits and foundations to demands for campaign contributions (and thereby diverting donors' money away from mission-related work to benefit politicians); and
Damaging the public trust in the work of nonprofits.
Furthermore, the repeal or revision of the Johnson Amendment isn't necessary to protect the free speech of nonprofits, foundations, and churches. Nonprofits - and their individual staff, board members, and volunteers - already have many legal avenues to freely express their views on a wide range of policy issues.
With the likely change from government gridlock to fast and furious legislating in Washington this month, many nonprofit and foundation professionals are struggling to see how the pieces fit together and where their advocacy efforts can promote positive solutions. Our national network, the National Council of Nonprofits*, just published a look at six federal issuesof sector-wide importance that will likely be taken up in the coming weeks and months, and lays out what they mean for your nonprofit. We encourage you to read the article “Nonprofits Need to Stand Together to Push for Smart Public Policies,” share it with your board and other stakeholders, and be ready to stand up to defend nonprofit missions. Working with our colleagues at the National Council of Nonprofits, we will keep you informed on developments in our nation’s capital that affect the work of nonprofits in South Carolina.
Posted By GP McLeer, SC Arts Alliance,
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2016
2016 Election Recap
The 2016 election wrapped up very early this morning, with the presidential call coming around 2:30am. Over the course of the night we monitored every race that impacts South Carolina, from the State House to the White House. We at the SCAA look forward to working all newly elected officials and those returning for another term, working together to keep the arts alive in our state and nation!
Today, we bring you an update on who won last night. While final numbers are still being tabulated in some areas, winners have been declared in each race. Below you will find results from each race in South Carolina. Click here to read more.
GP McLeer is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, the only statewide organization dedicated to advancing the arts for all South Carolinians through advocacy, leadership development and public awareness. The SC Arts Alliance is a proud member organization of SCANPO.
Note: Numbers are subject to change and reflect totals as of the morning of Tuesday, November 9.
Posted By Brook Bristow, Bristow Beverage Law,
Friday, July 22, 2016
Hi SCANPO friends,
As someone deeply involved in the alcoholic beverage industry, I'm concerned with SLED's (SC Law Enforcement Division) anticipated stepped-up enforcement of a 20-year-old state law prohibiting breweries from donating their products to nonprofits.
It's always been the policy, but it hasn't been wholly enforced until now; that's why everyone is getting upset.
I predict that the crackdown will ultimately affect manufacturers of wine and spirits, along with any charitable groups seeking alcohol donations for special events. You can learn more about how these laws will affect you (and whether there's a need to change these laws) by joining me on August 3 at 11 am for my Wednesday Webinar presentation.
This is huge - it's not just about beer. The new focus on upholding these laws will affect everybody.
Posted By Tim Delaney, National Council of Nonprofits,
Monday, January 18, 2016
In the minds of most Americans, the image of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., is of a man standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial delivering one of the finest speeches the world has ever heard.
While we normally focus on his mesmerizing cadence and inspiring words, we neglect to consider that he stood there not as just a great orator, but as the president of the nonprofit Southern Christian Leadership Conference and minister of a nonprofit Baptist church, surrounded by leaders of hundreds of nonprofits who had successfully rallied more than a quarter million Americans to participate peacefully in the 1963 March on Washington to advocate for people.
Dr. King’s astounding rhetorical gifts will continue to inspire generations to come. But equally important to the event’s success that particular day was how Dr. King and other nonprofit leaders advanced their nonprofits’ missions of helping people by flooding the streets of D.C. with a then-unprecedented number of individuals, forcing federal officials to begin paying attention to the power of the convictions of the American people.
This week, as we listen to Dr. King’s immortal “I Have a Dream” speech, I urge us all to reflect on the power that nonprofits can yield when advocating to advance their missions to help people.
When doing so, let’s also reflect on the power of a network, as seen by those working closely with Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to make the March on Washington a success, particularly these luminaries of the civil rights movement: James L. Farmer, Jr., of the Congress of Racial Equality,(now Congressman) John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Roy Wilkins of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Whitney Young of the National Urban League.
Their courageous leadership demonstrated that when ignored individuals come together through nonprofits, they can be heard, and when separate nonprofits come together through nonprofit networks, they and those they serve can be heard even better. Thanks to these and other nonprofit leaders, we know that advocating to advance our missions works, and that working through networks works. In sum: Together, we can!
Today, the IRS announced that it had withdrawn its proposed regulations on gift substantiation which would have encouraged nonprofits to collect, store, and report donors' Social Security Numbers, placing a tremendous liability and burden on the nonprofit sector.
The IRS received 37,977 comments during the comment period, with the overwhelming majority fervently against the proposed rules. Many networks, from the United Way, Independent Sector, and the National Council of Nonprofits, rallied their members and stakeholders in opposition to the rulemaking.
The IRS issued the following statement:
“The Treasury Department and the IRS received a substantial number of public comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. Many of these public comments questioned the need for donee reporting, and many comments expressed significant concerns about donee organizations collecting and maintaining taxpayer identification numbers for purposes of the specific-use information return. In response to those comments, the Treasury Department and the IRS have decided against implementing the statutory exception to the CWA requirement, and therefore that exception remains unavailable unless and until final regulations are issued prescribing the method for donee reporting. Accordingly, the notice of proposed rulemaking is being withdrawn.”
1) SCANPO Public Policy Partners Meeting - Come ready to network and share regarding national and statewide legislative issues impacting nonprofits. Additionally, SCANPO aims to strengthen its public policy work. We seek your input in expanding our services. Look for a detailed agenda in January.
WHEN: 9:30–11:30 a.m. on Wednesday - January 20, 2016
WHERE:Edens Conference Room, 1221 Main Street, 10th Floor, Columbia (Expect a lovely view of our State House from Columbia’s newest skyscraper!) Park in the 1st level of the garage, parking will be validated.
2) UWASC / SCANPO Legislative Luncheon - SCANPO is proud to join the United Way Association in sponsoring this gathering. Two years ago when we co-sponsored, we saw nearly 47% of the House members and 28% of the Senate attend this luncheon. This is great time to show the strength of the broader nonprofit community.
WHEN: Noon-2 p.m. on Wednesday - January 20, 2016
WHERE: Blatt Building Rm 112, State Capital, Columbia
3) PLUS, we invite your help preparing a 2015 - 2016 Nonprofit Legislative Overview. Jamie Moon and Sue Williams helped us brainstorm this idea.
Please use this link to share with us bills your organization is working on, including those that passed during the 2015 session and those that you will be working on in 2016.
Your responses will be compiled into a comprehensive list of all bills that our members support.
We will include: Bill number/name, status, subject area, nonprofit advocates, legislative sponsors, and what they aim to accomplish. We hope this comprehensive list will encourage your coordination and collaboration.
If the message is meaningful, we may even choose to share with the legislators. We need your responses by Friday, January 8.
More than 37,000 concerned individuals and organizations submitted comments on the proposed gift substantiation regulation, and virtually all that are viewable expressed a common theme: it is a very bad idea for nonprofits to be asking for donors’ Social Security numbers, maintaining that personal information in their files, and submitting it to the IRS. In the view of many, “never is the better answer” when the question is whether individuals should give their Social Security numbers to people claiming to be soliciting on behalf of a charity.
The United States Congress has finally made permanent three tax incentives for charitable giving!
These incentives strengthen the charitable community’s ability to improve American lives and our communities, and ends the sector’s nearly 10-year long struggle to make these incentives a permanent part of the tax code.
The incentives include the IRA charitable rollover and enhanced deductions for the donation of food inventory and land conservation easements. After years of renewal and expiration, including the most recent expiration on January 1, 2015, the permanent extension of these three charitable giving incentives is now headed to the president’s desk for his signature.
In addition to these critical incentives, Congress included important provisions to make the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit permanent.
This tax deal, known as the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, shows true leadership in understanding the value of the charitable community and the role it plays in American society. This law ends the uncertainty caused by the repeated expiration and subsequent reinstatement of these three charitable giving incentives.
Ready here why the IRS’s proposal to require nonprofits to collect donor SSNs is a bad idea!
Here’s what we sent to the IRS:
The South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations opposes this proposed rule. The requirements would place an additional burden on charitable organizations and would expose them to additional liability.
Our donors trust us with their resources, believing in our missions and that we will use those resources to fulfill those missions. If we had to collect personal private information such as their social security numbers, the burden to protect that information would be overwhelming.
This rule would open the door for scam artists to solicit social security numbers and other private information from our donors, all under the protection of this rule. Furthermore, most organizations use cloud-based databases, and while they are often very secure, no encryption is perfect.
Charitable organizations would become targets of determined hackers, knowing that we will have social security numbers. Small organizations would be forced by this rule to spend money that should go to furthering their missions on higher security databases more appropriate for large healthcare systems.
Our donors are already very cautious with their personal information. This rule would be one more obstacle for donors, and there are already so many. Charitable giving will suffer under this rule, and with it, the good work the charitable sector does.
The existing rules are more than sufficient to substantiate donor contributions to validate tax deductions. Please do not add more rules which would force charities into an awkward and legally perilous position, and put at risk the sacred trust between donors and the charities they support.