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TNPA’s Inaugural Advocacy Week…Three Fast-Paced Days!

If you want to experience three fast-paced days advocating on behalf of the nonprofit sector, just come to The Nonprofit Alliance (TNPA).

From June 11 through June 13, 2024, it never slowed down at TNPA. TNPA’s first-ever Advocacy Week was a whirlwind of information and good old-fashioned lobbying to promote the vital interests of the nonprofit sector.

Day One:

We started on June 11 with a day of Zoom calls — not some dry, boring information, but an interesting mix of informing our members on the nuance of our legislative issues and hearing from some high-level congressional staffers who are on the front lines of advocacy every day. We started with a review of our issues from Sally Schaeffer, Founder and Principal Consultant for Uncorked Strategies, and TNPA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Mark Micali. That laid the foundation for everyone for the rest of the week. From there, we pivoted to a “30,000 Foot View from Capitol Hill: What to Expect in This Election Year.” Here, we gained the views of three top congressional staffers: Caitlyn Stephenson, Chief of Staff for Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Michelle Altman, Chief of Staff for Senator James Lankford (R-OK), and Lot Kwarteng, Legislative Director for Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). It was an informative discussion that indicated that while much is made of polarization in the media, bipartisanship still lives on Capitol Hill — albeit less so than it used to.

First Day of TNPA's inaugural Advocacy Week, virtual session.
First Day of TNPA's inaugural Advocacy Week, virtual session.

And that was just the beginning. We then had Tooshar Swain, Director for Public Policy for Americans for the Arts moderate a panel with Alejandro Renteria, Legislative Director for Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Ashlynne Beninga, Legislative Assistant for Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE). This informative panel gave their thoughts on how nonprofits can “punch above their weight class” with their advocacy efforts, which was particularly helpful to our smaller NPO members.

From there, we learned about the importance of grassroots activism from Ali Bedford, Vice President of Integer, and TNPA’s Regulatory Counsel, Bob Tigner. We closed out our first day with a prep session to prepare everyone for the next day’s in-person meetings on Capitol Hill and the following day’s virtual Capitol Hill meetings.

Day Two:

We were up early starting at 8:30 a.m. for a full day of seven meetings on Capitol Hill. During our day of meetings, participants advocated on the need for enactment of the Universal Charitable Deduction, the need for comprehensive, bipartisan national privacy legislation, as well as having meetings on artificial intelligence (AI) in the offices of the two co-chairs of the Senate AI Caucus – Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Mike Rounds (R-SD). The highlight of the day was a meeting with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), the lead Senate Democrat on the Universal Charitable Deduction bill (S. 566).

Attendees of TNPA's inaugural Advocacy Week with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE).

Day Three:

The final day of Advocacy Week was a series of six Zoom meetings with various congressional offices. Here, the meetings centered around the need for enactment of the Universal Charitable Deduction and AI policy. Among the meetings was a meeting with the Legislative Director for Congresswoman Michelle Steel (R-CA), one of the four lead sponsors of the House universal charitable deduction legislation (H.R. 3435). There was also a meeting with the office of Senate Republican Whip (the Senate’s #2 Republican) John Thune (R-SD). In this meeting, there was discussion on strategies to get the Universal Charitable Deduction enacted. A major focus of this effort will be the important challenge coming up on December 31, 2025, when over $3 Trillion of tax provisions of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expire and need to be extended, modified, or allowed to sunset. As this date approaches, a major tax package will likely be put together, which could be the vehicle for the Universal Charitable Deduction to “ride on” to get enacted into law.

Third day of TNPA's inaugural Advocacy Week, virtual session.
Mark Micali
Author: Mark Micali

Mark Micali is Vice President, Government Affairs for The Nonprofit Alliance and has spent his career on Capitol Hill.  You can reach him at

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