Ed Note: Yesterday was election day and we hope you voted. Voting is the foundation of our democracy. Voting is also just the first step in an active and engaged democratic society. Next, we must also stay in communication with our elected officials to make sure they know what we need and want. That is where advocacy comes in.
There’s an old expression in politics, “If you’re not active at the table, you may find yourself on the menu.” This is just as true for the nonprofit sector as any other part of the American economy. In fact, the expression speaks to much of the momentum which helped launch TNPA in 2018. As a sector, we want to be at the table, not on the menu!
Advocacy by individuals in TNPA member organizations is vital to taking advantage of our place at the table. TNPA is your voice advocating for the nonprofit sector on policies and legislation that impact our ability to do our nonprofit work. Yet, that voice is even stronger when you get involved.
We at TNPA focus on the issues which impact the nonprofit sector to help pave the way for nonprofit organizations to pursue their missions. We are steadfast advocates for comprehensive, bipartisan national privacy legislation. Without one national “rules of the road” which preempts current or future state privacy laws, our ability to use and handle data will be compromised. The need for federal legislation has never been greater with five states having already enacted privacy statutes, and more to follow. We cannot afford to allow a patchwork quilt of varying state privacy laws burden our operations.
We have also been active on tax policy. TNPA is a leading force in the effort to provide for a Universal Charitable Deduction, open to all taxpayers regardless of income. Another TNPA priority is expansion of the IRA Charitable Rollover, an important vehicle to allow older Americans to support charities.
As part of the nonprofit sector, you care about those issues (and more). They are the reasons you should become active in TNPA’s advocacy program.
But how can you get involved in the efforts to impact these issues? It does not take a lot of your time. By stepping away from your “day job” from time to time, you can make a genuine difference for our sector, for your work, and for your organization.
Here are some ways to get involved*:
- Spend just a few minutes each month reading TNPA’s Legislative Round Up and you will stay up to date on key nonprofit issues.
- Take Action with TNPA Action Alerts when we need extra voices to weigh in with Congress, state legislatures, or other policymakers. You will find them in your email inbox and posted on our website.
- Join our Executive Advocacy Forum and work with us on our grassroots lobbying efforts. To express interest, contact Mark Micali, TNPA’s Vice President of Government Affairs at email@example.com.
- And here’s a fun one. Participate in our Capitol Hill Days where you can speak to and hear from members of Congress and their senior staff about key legislation. You need not worry about being a legislation or policy expert. That’s OUR job in working on your behalf. But we do need your voice to join the conversations, so TNPA staff will have you well-briefed on the issues and be with you at every meeting.
- Last but not least, TNPA has a political action committee, or PAC. The PAC operates in a bipartisan manner supporting federal candidates for office. To get information on the PAC, just contact Mark Micali, TNPA’s Vice President of Government Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So get involved with TNPA’s advocacy efforts! You’ll be helping the sector, staying up to date on important issues, and having some fun!
*If you work for a nonprofit organization, you may know about rules limiting lobbying by 501(c)3 organizations. It is important to know that TNPA’s advocacy efforts fit within a safe harbor afforded to nonprofits by IRS rules. “Self-defense” is not considered “lobbying” for purposes of measuring the extent of an organization’s lobbying. If you are still concerned or want more details, contact Robert Tigner, TNPA’s General Counsel at email@example.com.