I know, I know – it’s not true. Most of us don’t actually “love” committees. But especially in our sector, we do seem to spend a tremendous amount of time forming them, running them, participating in them, disbanding them, and sometimes re-constituting them.
So, this “love-hate” relationship we have with committees has lots of layers!
The truth is, however, that for our team at Independent Sector, re-creating and refreshing our Public Policy Committee (PPC) at the start of each year is one of the most energizing things we do to kick off the new year. Before you start thinking about how “sad” it is that we could possibly get so excited about a committee, I ask you to think about the following:
- The PPC is one of the best tools we have to ensure that we are connected deep into community (not just deep into Washington) to make sure that the policy agenda we are shaping and advancing actually matters to nonprofit leaders on the ground.
- The PPC increasingly reflects the tremendous diversity of the sector we serve. That means we, among many other things, are growing a community that can learn with us (and hold us accountable) as together we think about what it takes to ensure a healthy and equitable sector.
- The PPC gets stuff done! Last year they drove a major shift in how Independent Sector engages on the issues of voting rights and voter access. It made recommendations, approved by the IS board, that put our organization into a new and needed “policy posture” on voting rights and voting access legislation.
- People really want to serve on the PPC! This trend really exploded this year. Almost no one said “no” to the invitation. I don’t think that means everyone loves committee meetings. I DO THINK it means they see something happening here and they want to be a part.
We are, of course, incredibly grateful that so many talented sector leaders make time to join with us in this work. And we hope that the enthusiasm we have for them is shared by those who actually serve. Our meetings aren’t perfect, of course, but the trends in our post-meeting surveys have certainly been going in the right direction.
The agenda for our year ahead is exciting, as well. Among other issues we will be working on are:
- What policies are actually required to ensure that our sector is healthy and equitable and how we are advancing them?
- How do we, once and for all, secure meaningful and lasting representation of our broad sector within the federal government (see our Seat at the Table campaign)?
- How do we make sure more nonprofits are exercising their power (supported by growing data) to engage voters in nonpartisan ways and, by doing so, get them to the polls this year?
- Where might the issue of philanthropy reform, as addressed in the Accelerating Charitable Efforts Act last year, be going – and what do we want to see happen as a result of those reforms?
- How can we best make sure that the sector workforce recovers as we come out of a pandemic and how do we make sure that the pipeline of donors to charitable causes is robust, diverse, and growing?
So, who is going to do all this work? Well, in the end, I’d suggest that all of this is work that ALL OF US should be doing in some way. But, to assist you all in that, the following incredible sector leaders have agreed to serve on our Public Policy Committee for 2022. Check this group out!
I may not have convinced you with this piece that everybody loves a committee. Like most relationships – it can be complicated. But what I can tell you with full confidence is that our Independent Sector team LOVES this committee.
Thanks for spending some time our work, which we feature in our Voices for Good e-newsletter. Stronger with you than without!