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Latest U.S. Public Policy News

The following archive contains all U.S. public policy news articles and stories that have appeared on the AFP website, in reverse chronological order.

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Action Needed on the Johnson Amendment Again
(July 18, 2018) The House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation with language that will dramatically weaken the Johnson Amendment for any "church." Representatives need to hear from the nonprofit community that they represent.

New Tax Study Anticipates Significant Decrease in Charitable Giving Following Tax Reform
(June 22, 2018) Yet another comprehensive study estimates that giving will fall significantly as a result of the new tax law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in late 2017.

Universal Charitable Deduction Bill Introduced in Congress
(May 15, 2018) A new bill in Congress would allow all taxpayers to take a charitable deduction, even if they didn’t itemize their taxes.

Louisiana Bill to Ban Professional Certifications Defeated in Committee
(May 15, 2018) Work by AFP and other associations has led to significant changes to a Louisiana state bill that would have prohibited the use of professional certificates such as CFRE and ACFRE.

Proposed Deficit Reduction Measures Could Curb Charitable Giving
(Nov. 30, 2010) Two organizations tasked with confronting the U.S. federal deficit have issued draft proposals to reduce the deficit. Although AFP supports the concept of deficit reduction, we are concerned about proposed changes to the charitable deduction in both proposals.

How to Approach Fundraising in 2018
(Jan. 31, 2018) The new tax reform bill, signed into law late in 2017, has created quite the stir in the fundraising profession and the nonprofit sector. It’s a massive bill affecting all aspects of American society, including the charitable sector, and will impact our donors in many diverse ways. Opinions abound—more income for donors will increase giving; a doubling of the standard deduction will reduce giving. Which one is right? Are they both right?

What’s In the New Tax Bill: Summary of Provisions
(Jan. 31, 2018) The new tax bill contains a number of provisions that affect fundraising and charities, both directly and indirectly. You can read about some suggested strategy and tactics for fundraising in light of the new bill here. Here, AFP has rounded up all the parts of the bill that affect fundraising and the charitable sector.

Congress Approves Tax Reform Bills, Likely Leading to Drops in Charitable Giving
(Dec. 20, 2017) Research continues to show the final bill leading to drops of $13 – 20 billion in giving. Here’s a round-up of nonprofit provisions in the bill, as well as a statement from The Charitable Giving Coalition, chaired by AFP.

Tips for Giving After the Tax Bill
(Dec 22, 2017) With the recently approved tax reform bill significantly affecting charitable giving, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) offers advice and perspective to both charities and donors as they look at giving in 2017 and beyond.

Senate Passes Bill Tax Reform Bill Without Universal Charitable Deduction
(Dec. 6, 2017) Despite intense lobbying from the nonprofit sector, the universal charitable deduction was not included in the final Senate tax reform bill, which could lead to drops in charitable giving of $20 billion or more every year.

AFP U.S. Legislative Update: Contact Your Senators the Week of Thanksgiving
(Nov. 20, 2017) AFP, the Charitable Giving Coalition and other organizations continue to reach out to the U.S. Senate regarding its tax reform bill and push Senators to support a universal charitable deduction.

AFP Calls on Senate to Approve Non-Itemizer Deduction to Prevent Drop in Charitable Giving
(Nov. 13, 2017) With the current Senate tax reform bill estimated to decrease giving significantly, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the largest community of charitable fundraisers in the world, urges all Senators to support an amendment to create a non-itemizer charitable deduction.

Tax Reform Bill Would Reduce Giving, Repeal Johnson Amendment
The House of Representatives has introduced a tax reform bill, H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that would lead to a significant drop in charitable giving and allow churches, but not all nonprofits, to engage in partisan politics.

Comment on the New Tax Reform Plan That Could Reduce Giving by Billions
(Oct. 18, 2017) AFP is calling on U.S. members to provide comments online about the new GOP Tax Reform Framework that could reduce by giving by $13 billion every year.

AFP Calls on Senate Finance Committee to Approve Charitable Giving Incentives
(July 19, 2017) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has submitted recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee to strengthen philanthropy in America by creating a universal charitable deduction and expanding the IRA Rollover provision.

Tax Policy Proposals Would Reduce Charitable Giving, New Study Finds
(May 24, 2017) Tax policy changes proposed by Congress and the Administration would reduce charitable giving by up to $13.1 billion, new research conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy indicates.

Charitable Giving Coalition Sends Letter on Trump Tax Plan
(May 2, 2017) In response to President Trump’s tax plan, the Charitable Giving Coalition, led by AFP, sent a letter to Republican House Ways and Means Committee members, encouraging them to safeguard the charitable deduction as they consider their own tax proposals.

AFP Urges Members to Oppose California Bill 2855
(May 4, 2016) Despite changes being made to the bill, AFP continues to oppose California Assembly Bill 2855, and encourages members to contact their state Assembly members.

New Charity Package Introduced in Senate
(Apr. 6, 2016) Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced a series of charity provisions called The CHARITY (Charities Helping Americans Regularly Throughout the Year) Act, which calls on the Senate to ensure that the “value and scope of the deduction for charitable contributions is not diminished during a comprehensive rewrite of the tax code.”

IRS Withdraws Substantiation Proposal Thanks to Thousands of Nonprofit Comments
(Jan. 9, 2016) Thanks to thousands of comments from nonprofits across the country, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has dropped its proposal to create a new substantiation form that could have had charities asking for donor's Social Security numbers.

Submit Your Comments NOW to the IRS on New Regulations Requiring Disclosure of Social Security Numbers
(Dec. 16, 2015) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is proposing regulations that would create a new donor disclosure form for donations over $250 that would require charities to collect their donors’ social security numbers. The IRS isn’t making the form mandatory now, but even the “optional” proposal concerns us, and it could be obligatory to use in the future. We need you to contact the IRS TODAY with your concerns about this proposal!

Tax Extenders Bill Would Make IRA Rollover Permanent
(Dec. 16, 2015) Congress has reached agreement on a package of tax bills that would make several charitable giving incentives permanent, including the Charitable IRA Rollover.

New IRS Substantiation Proposal: More Paperwork
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has proposed new regulations that would modify its requirements that nonprofits obtain a “contemporaneous written acknowledgement” for contributions of $250 or more.

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Senate Working Groups Highlight Charitable Giving Incentives in Tax Reform “Exploration”
(July 8, 2015) Charitable giving incentives, including the IRA Rollover Provision, were featured prominently in the reports of the Senate Finance Committee working groups that identified key areas for future consideration during the tax reform debate.

IRS Advisory Panels Calls for Review of Charity Form 990, Mandatory E-Filing
(June 24, 2015) The Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT), of which AFP President and CEO Andrew Watt, FinstF, is a member, has recommended that the Internal Revenue Service institute mandatory electronic filing of the Form 990.

AFP Submits Comments to Senate on Tax Reform, Charitable Incentives
(April 22, 2015) AFP has submitted comments to the Individual Income Tax and Business Income Tax Working Groups of the Senate Finance Committee, calling on the Senate to keep the charitable deduction in its current form and look for other incentives to encourage charitable giving, including the IRA Rollover Provision.

Charitable Giving Coalition Letter to the President
(Feb. 4, 2015) The Charitable Giving Coalition, which AFP co-chairs, sent a letter to the White House about the impact of the FY 2016 budget and encouraging the President to move forward additional proposals that will encourage giving. Read the full letter here.

Tax Reform Efforts Starting in Congress
(Jan. 21, 2015) With limited time to act before the 2016 Presidential election season kicks into gear, Congress has begun its efforts to address comprehensive tax reform, while the Charitable Giving Coalition has sent a letter to new members of Congress calling for greater incentives for giving.

IRA Rollover Approved by Congress, Heads to White House For Signing
(Dec. 17, 2014) With the White House threatening a veto of a bill to make the IRA Charitable Rollover and other provisions permanent, Congress turns to a one-year extenders package.

Take Action: Urge Your House Member of Congress to Pass Legislation That Includes a Permanent Extension of the IRA Rollover Provision
(Dec. 9, 2014) The U.S. House plans to place the Supporting America’s Charities Act (H.R. 5806) on the suspension calendar (a fast-track means of passing legislation) that would permanently extend the following three charitable provisions: the IRA Rollover provision; the deduction for gifts food inventory; and the deduction for conservation easement contributions. In order for this bundle to pass the House, 50-65 Democrats are needed to vote in favor of the bill. Time is of the essence as we've heard that a House vote could come as early as this week.

Congress Reaches Deal on IRA Rollover, But Major Hurdles Remain
(Dec. 2, 2014) The House of Representatives and the Senate have worked out a deal to make the IRA Rollover provision permanent, but the White House has indicated its objections to the overall bill.

Big Vote in the House on Thursday for IRA Rollover, Other Charitable Provisions
(July 15, 2014) The House of Representatives is expected to vote this Thursday legislation that would make the currently expired IRA Rollover provision permanent. AFP is encouraging members to contact their Congressperson TODAY!

The Long (and Continuing) Travels of the Charitable IRA Rollover
(June 3, 2014) The Charitable IRA Rollover was approved last week by the House Ways and Means Committee as part of a package of tax extenders, and is now headed to the full House for a vote. But the journey for the now expired provision is far from over. Using these bullet points, we urge you to contact your representatives to support the IRA Charitable Rollover.

IRA Rollover Provision Included in Senate’s EXPIRE Act
(Apr. 23, 2014) The IRA Charitable Rollover provision, which allows donors age 70½ and older to exclude from their taxable income any IRA funds up to $100,000 that have been withdrawn and transferred to a charity when filing a tax return, is one step closer to being reinstated back into law. Find out how you can help Congress approve the provision!

AFP Call to Action: The Tax Reform Act of 2014 - What You Need to Know, What You Need to Do
(Mar. 11, 2014) AFP is deeply concerned about provisions in a new tax reform bill that would decrease giving, and we urge AFP members and all fundraisers to contact their members of Congress about this negative impact.

Limiting Charitable Deductions Is Not The Way to Position U.S. for the 21st Century
(Mar. 5, 2014) In response to the White House's release of its Fiscal Year 2015 budget, AFP noted that capping the charitable deduction is not the way to position the U.S. for prolonged success in the 21st century.

Charities, Fundraisers Call New Tax Plan a “Mixed Bag”—Appreciate Simplification, Concerned About Impact on Giving
(Feb. 28, 2014) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) today expressed its appreciation to Rep. Dave Camp (R-Minn.) for recognizing the unique value of the charitable deduction in his new plan that seeks to simplify the tax code. However, AFP remains deeply concerned about provisions in his proposal that would decrease giving.

The Second Annual “Protect Giving Day” Invites You to Be the Charitable Deduction
(Nov. 26, 2013) Hear how more than 200 individuals, representing over 140 organizations, flooded the Hill with their stories of impact to help preserve the charitable deduction. Highpoints, success stories, videos and more—we’ve got the inside scoop. Plus, learn how you can help!

Charitable Giving Coalition Press Release: The Charitable Deduction - It's Not About the Donor
(June 6, 2013) Millions of America’s most vulnerable are the true beneficiaries of the charitable tax deduction, the Charitable Giving Coalition said today. Any limits on this 100-year old tax incentive would most hurt the poor and the nonprofit sector, not the donors who give. The Coalition is reminding lawmakers in Washington, D.C. of that fact as they consider comprehensive tax reform proposals.

Fundraising Chief Watt Calls on Congress to Preserve Charitable Deduction, Look at New Ways to Invest in Communities
(Feb. 14, 2013) Andrew Watt, FInstF, the president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, called the charitable deduction a “powerful symbol of American philanthropy” and urged Congress to not only preserve the deduction, but examine new ways to encourage additional giving and investment in the philanthropic sector.

Taxation Committee Releases List of Reform Proposals for Charities, Philanthropy
(May 7, 2013) The IRA Rollover, the non-itemizer deduction and the conversion of the charitable deduction into a tax credit are just some of the proposals included in the Joint Committee on Taxation’s report on the House Ways and Means Committee’s Tax Reform Working Groups.

Charitable Deduction Not Taken Down by the Fiscal Cliff
(Jan. 2, 2013) The charitable deduction was left mostly unscathed by the fiscal cliff negotiations and the recently passed bill.

Lobby Day Held to Protect Charitable Deduction, Begin Discussion of Larger Role of Philanthropy in Society
(Dec. 6, 2012) Hundreds of representatives from the philanthropic sector converged on Capitol Hill Dec. 4-5 to urge Congress to protect the charitable deduction and begin a broader discussion about the role of philanthropy and how to solve the larger, long-term problems that America faces.

Hundreds of Charitable Leaders Descend on Capitol Hill to Make Case for Charitable Tax Deduction
(Dec. 5, 2012) Nearly 300 leaders from the Charitable Giving Coalition representing education, health, faith-based, arts and neighborhood revitalization organizations descended on Capitol Hill today making a strong case to protect the charitable tax deduction.

Help Protect the Charitable Deduction: Attend the Charitable Giving Coalition’s Capitol Hill Event
(Nov. 6, 2012) AFP, as chair of the Charitable Giving Coalition, invites its U.S. members to attend the Charitable Giving Coalition’s inaugural Capitol Hill fly-in event, “Protect Giving-DC Days,” on Dec. 4 and 5. This is a great chance to meet with policymakers and their staffs to explain the impact that limitations on the charitable deduction, including cuts and caps, would have on your program and the people you serve.

Take Action – Write to Your Member of Congress
(Nov. 8, 2011) Take action today to urge your Members of Congress to oppose any tax reforms that would harm charitable giving!

Congress Considers Eliminating Reduced Rates for Nonprofit Mail
(Aug. 16, 2011) The Postal Service’s financial crisis has resulted in the introduction of four different bills in Congress to address the problem. One of those bills, H.R. 2309, the Postal Reform Act, introduced by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), contains a provision that would wipe out reduced rates for nonprofit mail.

New Jersey Proposes Mandatory Disclosures for Certain Charities
(Aug. 9, 2011) New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs has issued a proposal that would require certain charities to disclose information about how their contributions would be spent.

Oregon State Government Considers Administrative Cost Ratios for Charitable Organizations
(May 10, 2011) The Oregon state legislature is considering a bill that would establish administrative cost ratios for nonprofits. If passed, Oregon will be the first state to establish such ratios.

IRA Charitable Rollover Included in Final Tax Bill - Provision Could Boost Giving by Billions Annually
(Dec. 17, 2010) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) today applauded the inclusion of the IRA (Individual Retirement Account) Charitable Rollover in the tax bill recently signed into law by the President, noting that the provision has been proven to work and could increase giving by billions every year.

White House Again Proposes Cap on Charitable Deductions
(Feb. 15, 2011) President Obama’s FY2012 Budget includes a cap on itemized deductions, including charitable deductions, for high-income taxpayers to pay for an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) fix.

President Obama and GOP Tax Cuts Extension Could Extend the IRA Rollover Provision
(Dec. 7, 2010) President Obama and the Republicans in Congress have forged an agreement on a two-year extension of several tax cuts. It is AFP's hope that an extension of the IRA Rollover provision will be included in the final iteration of that agreement.

Small U.S. Charities Encouraged to File Past Due Returns ASAP
Small charities in the U.S. that have missed the May 17 deadline for filing their required tax returns are encouraged to file their immediately, says IRS commissioner in a recent statement.

As Budget Shortfalls Loom, U.S. Postal Service Eyes Nonprofit Mail
(March 23, 2010) Facing predictions of huge budget shortfalls, the United States Postal Service has signaled that it will take a closer look at nonprofit mail, which could mean steeper rate increases for nonprofit mailings.

Contact Your Members of Congress to Protect the Charitable Deduction!
(Sept. 29, 2009) The White House and some members of Congress have been pressing for harmful limits on charitable deductions to fund healthcare reforms.

Help AFP Fight Proposals That Would Limit Charitable Deductions
(Sept. 8, 2009) Now that Congress is returning from the August recess to resume its work, the White House continues to press for harmful limits on charitable deductions to fund healthcare reforms. AFP urges you to contact members of Congress immediately to oppose these measures.

AFP Exclusive: Trends in State Legislation Impacting Charitable Fundraising Activity
(Sept. 8, 2009) Perlman & Perlman LLP, attorneys specializing in nonprofit law, have developed for AFP members a roundup of the most notable trends in state legislation impacting charitable fundraising.

U.S. State Issues
Learn more about the current U.S. state issues affecting fundraising.

U.S. federal issues
Learn more about the current U.S. federal issues affecting fundraising.

U.S. regulatory issues
Learn more about the current U.S. regulatory issues affecting fundraising.

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