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WASHINGTON (AFP eWire - April 5, 2004) - With negotiations and developments continuing to swirl around the Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is urging members to send letters to Congress now to help the bill move through the Senate.

Several weeks ago, Sens. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) filed the CARE Act as an amendment to the JOBS bill that was to be considered by the Senate. Consideration of that bill continues, but a vote on the CARE Act amendment has yet to be scheduled. Concurrently, both the House and Senate continue to look at related charity issues, such as vehicle donation programs and contributions of intellectual property.

According to Kyle Button, CFRE, chair of AFP's U.S. Government Relations Committee, a letter campaign now might help break the legislative logjam. 'On one hand, it's good to see Congress focusing on charities for once,' Button explained. 'On the other, it's quite possible that the CARE Act could lose momentum if it gets bogged down in all of these other discussions. And given that 2004 is an election year, that could easily happen, which is why we need to move now.'

Below is a sample letter that members can use to send to their two U.S. senators and urge them to support the CARE Act. AFP will follow with a legislative alert to all U.S. members during the week of April 5-9, and a follow-up to government relations chairs.

For more information about the CARE Act, please visit the CARE Act section on AFP's website.

What You Can Do

1. Send the attached letter to your two U.S. senators. Click here if you don't know who your U.S. senators are.

2. Personalize your letter - it will receive more attention if it doesn't look like every other letter. Click here to learn more about the CARE Act.

3. Did your senators vote for the CARE Act when it was up for consideration in 2003? If so, mention this in your letter and thank them for their past support. The vote on the Senate floor was 95-5 for passage. The senators voting against it were Craig (R-Idaho), Crapo (R-Idaho), Enzi (R-Wyo.), Nickles (R-Okla.) and Thomas (R-Wyo.).

4. Fax your letters. Mail takes too long and emails receive scant attention. Click here for your senators' fax numbers.

5. Send this email to as many colleagues you know who are interested in supporting the fundraising profession.

If you have any questions, please email

Sample Letter

The Honorable _______
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator _______:

I am writing to encourage you to support the Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act when it comes up for consideration.

The CARE Act contains a number of important incentives that will encourage charitable giving, such as the IRA Rollover provision that could increase giving by billions of dollars every year.

Americans are a generous people, but many charities are still reeling and recovering from the past several years when charitable giving has been very flat and even decreased for some organizations. If the CARE Act passed, my own organization (GIVE EXAMPLE OF HOW YOUR ORGANIZATION HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY ECONOMY AND WHAT IT MIGHT DO WITH ADDITIONAL FUNDS) will be able to fund additional programs (NAME AND WHAT THEY DO) that will help (X NUMBER OF) people in our community.

I know you voted for the CARE Act in 2003 and I very much appreciate your support. I urge you and your colleagues to finish the job this year so that charities can get the relief they need.

I know you voted against the CARE Act last year, but you indicated that it was for reasons other than the charitable giving provisions. Please remember the plight of many charities in your state and support the CARE Act this year so that charities can receive the relief they need.

Thank you for your consideration. Please support the CARE Act!


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