By Dan Cardinali
In the midst of political turmoil and upheaval this past weekend, I saw some hope.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, nonprofit organizations have stepped up in a big way in response to some of the policies released by the new Administration. Whether you agree or disagree with policymakers, being advocates is our fundamental right as Americans and as leaders in the charitable community. We should aim to be a voice for our communities, to lift up our collective expertise and know-how, and to solve our nation’s problems.
You may remember that the 2016 Independent Sector Conference took place just days after the election and I used my Town Hall session to share some thoughts about the “moment in time” we faced as a nation. Then — in breakout sessions and online forums — hundreds of sector leaders wrestled to define the unique role we could play in repairing a divided America.
After many weeks of work, we distilled all those insights and inputs into a single letter, which has been sent to the new Administration and House and Senate leadership. We appreciate all the thoughtful contributions and now I would turn your attention to what happens next:
On behalf of the sector, IS will use this letter and the specific requests it makes, to drive a series of conversations with the new Administration. Our bottom line is simple, we want the sector “at the table” when critical policy decisions are being formulated. As we move through 2017 and toward our next sector convening in Detroit, we will be working with this community to lift its voice, tell its story, and build a shared policy agenda that strengthens our potential for impact.
How can you help in these important efforts?
- Learn more about our current advocacy push to expand the charitable deduction. Our targeted push will pick up steam soon as Congress works on comprehensive tax reform.
- Subscribe and listen to 100 Days for Good, our new podcast about what’s happening in Washington. An upcoming episode will focus on how you have a lot more power than you might realize as an individual advocate.
- Register for a digital learning event on March 7, Put Your Voice Where Your Mission Is, to learn how to position your organization for advocacy success by engaging your board, aligning your staff, and leveraging coalitions.
We are always ready to hear what you are thinking – so please be in touch with questions, concerns, or ideas!
Dan Cardinali is the president and CEO of Independent Sector.