On Thursday, March 17 at 10 AM ET, Independent Sector President and CEO Dan Cardinali will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance about nonprofits’ vital role in building healthy, equitable communities, as it convenes for a hearing, Examining Charitable Giving and Trends in the Nonprofit Sector.
He will testify with Susannah Morgan, CEO of the Oregon Food Bank of the Oregon Food Bank; Una Osili, Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy and Associate Dean for Research and International Programs at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; and C. Eugene Steuerle, Co-Founder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute.
This hearing comes at a pivotal moment for the nonprofit sector in both practice and policy. Nonprofit organizations have endured two immensely challenging years – financially, operationally, and emotionally. Many are attempting to settle into a “new normal” of serving and working with more people despite ongoing COVID-19 concerns, less money in many cases, inflationary pressures, workforce challenges, war in Europe, and more.
From a policy perspective, the nonprofit sector achieved significant policy victories through the Paycheck Protection Program, the nonitemizer charitable deduction, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit. In 2020, when the nation felt immense economic pain, sector advocacy and the Paycheck Protection Program helped save more than 4 million nonprofit jobs.
But these supports have expired. How will this critical Senate committee begin to build consensus around whether and which solutions advance to help the nation’s more than 1.8 million nonprofit organizations best serve communities in need? Dan will emphasize to policymakers the critical value the sector brings to our nation and the communities we serve the health of the U.S. nonprofit sector, and our urgent policy needs. Keep in mind: The nonprofit sector is the third-largest employer of the private workforce – equivalent to more than 12 million workers.
This moment is not only for Independent Sector or any of the other esteemed witnesses. The Senate Finance Committee is inviting written statements about experience and insight from the entire nonprofit sector – which will be included in the hearing’s official record. The hearing also will be broadcast live.
These hearings come around about once in a decade, so it is vital that all of us in the nonprofit sector make our case forcefully and in great numbers. Does your organization support restoration and expansion of the charitable deduction for every American? Does charitable giving enable the work you do in your community? Is the loss of the Employee Retention Tax Credit hurting your organization’s ability to invest in your mission? Please, take a few minutes to submit your testimony and express your thoughts in this critical forum, and share your submissions with us, too.
The nonprofit sector is a lifeline to our nation’s progress. It encompasses an array of diverse, but much-needed, missions that reflect the vitality of our nation’s communities. The only way to build healthier, more equitable communities is to focus, collaborate, and then proceed together.