Your Congressional Recess Toolkit


Congressional Recess: One envisions Senators streaming down marble steps, kicking off their shoes, and playing in the sunshine before the bells summon them back to legislative drudgery.

In reality, congressional recess periods are an opportunity for legislators to interact with constituents in their home districts and states. Whether they are taking meetings in a local office, doing site visits at community organizations, or holding town hall meetings, members of Congress are looking to listen, learn, see, and be seen.

We know that many of you take advantage of this opportunity already, and you are the experts on your mission and the ways federal policymakers and their staff can help your organizations. As you prepare for this recess, whether you’ve made plans or are connecting with your legislators for the first time, here are a few resources and opportunities to help you engage with Congress directly on some core issues impacting all charitable organizations.

What Can I Do to Help?

  1. Take a moment to use our Action Center to invite your members of Congress to visit your organization.
  2. See State Profiles of the nonprofit sector’s economic and community impact in your state.
  3. Incorporate the talking points below into your own recess messaging.
  4. For more information and background, check out the resource links under each issue.
  5. Let us know how it’s going and what you’re learning!

The Issues

1. Expand the Charitable Deduction to 100% of Taxpayers

Main Talking Point: Research shows that the 2017 tax law—by removing the tax incentive to donate for millions of Americans—will cause a $17 billion drop in giving this year. Congress can prevent this damage by allowing every taxpayer to claim the charitable deduction, whether they itemize their tax return or not.


2. Protect the Johnson Amendment

Main Talking Point: Repealing the Johnson Amendment threatens the public’s trust and investment in charities.


3. New Tax Obligations for Nonprofits

Main Talking Point: The 2017 tax law increased the tax burden on many nonprofit organizations by expanding Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT). These provisions are unclear and burdensome, and they should be delayed until nonprofits are given greater clarity.


Visit our Action Center to engage with Congress on these important issues during August Recess.


Key Insights

Related Resources