More than 170 nonprofit and foundation leaders representing organizations with varying missions from across the country joined a virtual meeting Thursday with top White House public engagement and economic officials to discuss the American Rescue Plan and the need for a partnership between the U.S. government and the nation’s 1.5 million nonprofit organizations to help Americans.
As part of Independent Sector’s ongoing conversations and engagement with The White House, the meeting was attended by Rep. Cedric Richmond, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Gene Sperling, Senior Advisor to the President and White House American Rescue Plan Coordinator. It included an overview of the American Rescue Plan with nonprofit leaders expressing willingness by their staff members and volunteers to help implement ideas and programs to improve communities.
The meeting marks a continuing dialogue that Independent Sector is having with The White House about the leadership and community-building role nonprofits play at the federal policy level, as well as the trust nonprofits hold with residents in communities nationwide. The meeting, which included Independent Sector members and the Nonprofit Infrastructure Investment Advocacy Group (NIIAG), also illustrated how direct connection by nonprofits with communities can help advance recovery nationwide.
CEOs of several high-impact nonprofit organizations conveyed the sector’s eagerness to work with Administration officials, including Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core; Adrienne Goolsby, Senior Vice President (U.S. and Canada), Habitat for Humanity; Janeen Comenote (Quinault Indian Nation), Executive Director, National Urban Indian Family Coalition; and Jesse Colvin, CEO, Service Year Alliance.
They shared just some of the urgent needs that nonprofits can partner with government to solve, such as employing the full force of the nation’s faith institutions to ensure there is equity in getting everyone in all communities vaccinated; meeting neighborhood revitalization and affordable housing goals; addressing broadband inequities for the large percentage of Americans without access, including American Indians living both on and off reservations; and increasing opportunities to unleash the enthusiasm and diversity of America’s youth in national service through a bold investment plan.
The meeting was an important step toward highlighting the spirit of generosity, innovation, service, cooperation, and volunteerism that is the hallmark of the nonprofit sector. Several nonprofit participants conveyed their eagerness to roll up their sleeves and put boots to the ground to get work done. Leaders at Independent Sector – the only national membership organization that represents the breadth of the charitable nonprofit sector – expressed appreciation about the bridge-building conversation between nonprofit leaders and Biden Administration officials.
Nonprofit participants were aware of one of the meeting’s key goals: To work with people and partners to ensure equity is at the center of this renewal effort and that everyone can thrive in the United States.