Take 2 Minutes to Help Keep Politics Out of Nonprofits
A core principle of charitable nonprofits – nonpartisanship – is under attack in Washington, DC. We need you to take two minutes to have your organization express support for a protection that has protected our work from divisive partisanship for generations. Sign the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship now!
Nonprofits are hailed as safe spaces in our communities because we bring people together to solve problems, help each other, and enrich the lives of many. We accomplish so much more because our board meetings are not filled with disruptive arguments about which political candidate to endorse. And we don’t have people questioning our motives and whether funds they donate to our missions will be redirected to a politician’s election campaign. Protecting nonpartisanship protects charitable organizations and our communities from divisive politics that cause strife among and within those safe places.
Bills pending in Congress (H.R. 781 & S.264) would repeal or significantly weaken the current law’s longstanding protections by inviting charitable and philanthropic organizations to endorse or oppose candidates for elected office and divert some of their assets away from their missions to instead support partisan campaigns. The legislation would blur the current clear language that conditions tax-exempt status and the ability to receive tax-deductible donations in part on not engaging in partisan, election-related activities for or against candidates for public office.
If enacted by Congress, the legislation would subject charitable nonprofits and foundations to demands for political endorsements and campaign contributions (diverting donors' money away from mission-related work to benefit politicians) and damage public trust in the work of nonprofits. Further, changes in the law are completely unnecessary. Nonprofits - and their individual staff, board members, and volunteers - already have many legal avenues to freely express their views on a wide range of public policy issues through existing laws that allow for advocacy of our missions to policymakers.
BE HEARD NOW
The Idaho Nonprofit Center has proudly joined the more than 2,000 (so far) nonprofits, foundations, and for-profit businesses from all 50 states, in signing onto the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship. This letter will be delivered to our U.S. Representatives and Senators to show them that charitable nonprofits, including religious institutions, foundations, and businesses that support our work are united in opposition to efforts to politicize our community.
Here's what you can do right now:
Join with us in keeping partisan politics out of nonprofits.
For more information on the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s position on the Johnson Amendment, click here.
In This Issue
Is There a Better Way to Track Your Grants?
This month for CenterView I thought I might discuss a few of the things we have been working on here at the Idaho Nonprofit Center. As a nonprofit organization ourselves, we are not immune to the challenges that nonprofits face across our entire statewide sector. I hope by sharing our internal work with you, we can better support your work and also learn together.
In this article I will discuss a new tool we developed to manage the day to day highs and lows of nonprofit life, one of our learnings from event coordination and how we can better manage our income/expense, and our new approach to our monthly featured nonprofit member - based on my trip to Sandpoint last month.
I’ll start with our new tool for managing the daily (sometimes hourly) highs and lows that come along with our work for the nonprofit sector. I think all of you can relate to how it feels to chalk up several wins: maybe you got a grant you were hoping for, a sponsor came in for your annual gala, and one of your clients had an incredible personal success. Then the feelings when the low comes in: you didn’t get another grant you hoped for, or a donor decided they didn’t want to support your organization or maybe you received some negative feedback from a client.
It’s those “lows” that we tend to remember and ruminate on all too often. We don’t take the time to celebrate the highs and the wins like we should. At the Idaho Nonprofit Center we experience this ebb and flow like everyone out there. Just as quickly as you feel full and happy with success the bubble bursts and you’re right back to feeling low again.
The Idaho Falls School District 91 Education Foundation has grown over the past two years and has “evolved into a granting organization offering programs to enrich educational opportunities” within the district. Executive Director, Marilou Hart, has worked for the organization since December 2014 and has seen the change firsthand.
Surveys are used to evaluate the needs of students and teachers in their community. This process has worked in the past and Hart will continue to employ it to discover future projects and to measure their successes.
The D91 Education Foundation is getting creative with their fundraising efforts. In April, they will hold the 2nd Annual Adult Spelling Bee. “Teams of three will compete to see who can ‘bee’ the better speller!”
When asked what she wished she knew before starting her position, Hart responded with: “There are more challenges managing and motivating a board of directors [than I thought]. Many dedicated and intelligent people donate their time to nonprofit boards and it is often a challenge to create a cohesive working environment to benefit the mission of the foundation.” Learn more about best board practices here.
In This Issue
Here at the Idaho Nonprofit Center we are interested in where you stand on the important issues affecting our sector. With your responses to our survey, our policy committee will be able to make appropriate decisions on the issues that require taking action. Your voice matters! Take the survey here.
If you are unfamiliar with these issues, please click here to visit our website and read our first Legislative Watch issue for 2017. There are great and easy to understand explanations of the impacts of both.
In This Issue
We hope you find these resources beneficial. We welcome suggestions on how we can improve this section. Contact us at