As most of us head back into the office after a long break, I hope that you are refreshed, ready, and eager to take on all the great information in this month’s issue of Voices for Good.
I have a couple of quick things I’d like to make sure are on your radar screens as, together, we begin to prepare for the work that lies beyond our summer vacations. I know, I am not winning any popularity contest by forecasting the end of summer. Sorry about that.
I was recently struck by a piece in the Nonprofit Quarterly titled, “IRS as Nonprofit Oversight? Without a Lot More Help, Don’t Expect Much.” The article served as a quick and important reminder of the work we have to do as a sector to improve our current oversight structure. This is no one’s favorite topic – and trust me, we have tried to raise the issue a lot! But if the sector delays its proactive thinking about the deficiencies in our current oversight framework, and how they might be improved, it could well be creating a bigger set of problems down the line. This is one of the reasons we are so very pleased to have recruited Christopher Armstrong, most recently General Counsel and Chief Oversight Counsel to the Senate Finance Committee, as the newest Public Policy Fellow at Independent Sector. Chris formally takes on his role here as of June 1.
Many of you reading this will know, or know of, Chris. He has a keen understanding of, and appreciation for, the charitable nonprofit sector and the critical role it plays in securing and advancing civil society in our nation. We look forward to thinking strategically with Chris and our other Policy Fellows (Harold Hancock, Cindy Lott, and Jeremie Greer) about how to best shape a conversation about what our sector needs today in a system of statutory regulation, enforcement mechanisms, and self-regulation and what role Independent Sector might play to help the sector steer this conversation with sector leaders, regulators, and the policy making community. Welcome, Chris.
I also want to remind you that in case you are in the mood for a bit of summer writing, we invite you to submit a proposal for the upcoming 8th Annual ARNOVA-Independent Sector Policy Symposium, taking place on July 29 in the IS offices.
The aim of this year’s symposium is to bring the research and practitioner communities together to explore what our public policy agenda for the 2020 election cycle might look like. This is the time for us to be thinking critically about those policy proposals that would best strengthen the nonprofit and philanthropic communities and thinking strategically about how to get those proposals in front of presidential and congressional candidates.
We are now accepting policy proposals for consideration at the July 29 session. Submissions are due by June 10, 2019 and, following review, selected authors will be invited to present their policy recommendations at the July symposium. Authors will receive a limited reimbursement to cover travel to Washington in July. A full Request for Proposal, including instructions on how to apply, are available at arnova.org/2019Symposium.
As always, thanks for spending time with the latest issue of Voices for Good. We are anxious for your feedback and/or ideas of issues you might like to see addressed in future editions. Please leave a comment below with any suggestions. Between now and next time we are together, have a wonderful, refreshing, and safe summer!