The Idaho Nonprofit Center will bring you a quick round up, every two weeks, of issues relevant to Idaho's nonprofit sector.

In This Issue

  1. Charitable Deductions Proposal
  2. The Johnson Amendment
  3. Taking Action
  4. State Overtime Final Rule Resources
  5. Advocating for your Sector

Charitable Deductions Proposal

What does this mean?

  • There is a proposal to put a CAP on charitable contributions. This in turn, may adversely impact monetary donations to nonprofit organizations.

Why does it matter?

  • Limitations on charitable deductions and other giving incentives could remove some motivation for donations to charitable nonprofits, and would further reduce the ability of charitable organizations to meet the increasing need for services in their communities.

Interestingly enough, 2017 marks the 100th year anniversary of the charitable deduction! Check out this great video from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust regarding the importance of the charitable deduction.

The Johnson Amendment

What is it?

  • This Amendment prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including nonprofits, foundations, and houses of worship from endorsing, funding, and opposing political candidates.

What does this mean for the nonprofit sector?

  • This keeps 501(c)(3) organizations from partaking in political stances or supporting political parties in any monetary way. 501(c)(3) have a tax exempt status which is not to be used for political affiliations.

  • This amendment is being questioned for repeal due to President Trump’s views on religious freedom and free speech within religious institutions and political affiliation. Since religious institutions fall within 501(c)(3) status, the nonprofit sector would be affected by this repeal. The National Council of Nonprofits suggests that repealing this amendment may lose the public’s trust towards donating to these organizations.

The current repeal and what we know:

  • This amendment cannot be repealed by executive order.

  • The repeal is being examined due to religious institutions trying to retain their tax exempt status while also endorsing political parties. This is being disputed because if this were to be repealed, tax exempt 501(c)(3) monetary donations could be funneled into political endorsements.

  • The National Council of Nonprofits released this statement: “The National Council of Nonprofits has long held that the public’s overall trust in the sector would diminish and thus limit the effectiveness of the nonprofit community if individual 501(c)(3) organizations came to be regarded as Democratic charities or Republican charities instead of the nonpartisan problem solvers that they are”.

What is next?

According to an article found in Nonprofit Quarterly, the repeal of the Johnson Amendment can threaten the public’s view of the contributions made towards each nonprofit's mission, vision, and values.

As of now, it has not made it any farther than draft legislation. We will continue to update our members on any changes to this amendment and what this may mean for our sector.

Taking Action

The Charitable Giving Coalition, of which Independent Sector is a founding and active member, will host a Hill Day to preserve the current value of the charitable deduction and expand this critical tax incentive to all taxpayers. It will take place in Washington, DC on February 16.

We are keeping an eye on this and will send information out as it becomes available. Contact your elected officials to keep up to date with important information on deductions for funding.

Find your elected officials here and here.

Check your inbox tomorrow for a legislative alert and call to action regarding this issue.

State Overtime Final Rule Resources

The Federal judge blocked the implementation of the Overtime Final Rule ruling that the U.S. Department of Labor exceeded its authority. This was stopped from going into action on December 1st, 2016.

Specifically, the Federal judge ruled: “Congress gave the Department the authority to define what type of duties qualify [for the overtime exemption] — it did not give the Department the authority to supplant the duties test and establish a salary test that causes bona fide EAP’s to suddenly lose their exemption ‘irrespective of their job duties and responsibilities.”

With this in mind, nonprofits need to understand and comply with existing Federal Fair Labor Standards Acts for all overtime compensation.

Advocating for your Sector

Getting involved

  • Contact your local legislature in order to keep up to date with important news within the nonprofit sector and advocate.
  • Find your local legislator here.

Keeping up with the news

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank