Reading the nonprofit press or the barrage of nonprofit email these days, one gets the sense that of course — of course! — the key issue right now is preserving the current level of tax deduction that individuals get by donating to us. Petitions and letter-writing campaigns urge us to contact our Congressional reps with this message.
Can we at least acknowledge the irony that our main collective policy message appears to be: "Preserve Tax Deductions for the Wealthiest Americans who Itemize"?
Can we consider more integrated approaches to take?
While we must fight to keep the charitable deduction, we must also call for revenue solutions that can prevent cuts to the safety net. We must argue not only against cuts but for a fairer tax structure that begins with allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire.
Our nonprofit community stands not just for charity, but for fairness, for a healthy planet, for tax policies that support the common good, for values. In fact, the nonprofit sector is where Americans come to express their values. Let's be sure that our policy messages express our values, not just our revenue streams.
* Query for a future American Nonprofits webinar: seeking a couple of nonprofit CFOs on experiences with choosing and instituting retirement plans for nonprofits; email stevez at spectrumnonprofit dot com.
* This issue we hear from an executive director about following a founder, from the Ask Rita in HR attorneys about background checks, from comic writer Vu Le about nonprofit meetings, and about "conflicts of loyalty" (rather than conflicts of interest) on boards. And of course, a 3-Minute Vacation.* And have a great holiday season. — Jan Masaoka and the Blue Avocado staff and Steering Committee