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Public Policy

“[P]olitics mixes with everything. It is a reality we all experience in different sorts of ways,
either as pernicious or benevolent.”

- Archbishop Desmond Tutu to AFP 2010 Int'l Conference, Baltimore MD

Public Policy News and Developments

As the largest association of philanthropic fundraisers, AFP seeks to educate the public about the fundraising profession and the importance of philanthropy, and protect the interests of donors, fundraisers and charities related to laws and regulations about giving, volunteering and nonprofit operations in the U.S., Canada, and abroad.

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.

Charitable IRA Rollover Made Permanent-The Impact of Public Policy (Dec. 18, 2015)
Congress has passed, and the President is expected to sign today, legislation that would make the Charitable IRA Rollover permanent. This is a huge step for philanthropy and fundraising in the U.S.

AFP’s Comments to IRS Regarding Proposed Substantiation Changes  (Dec. 16, 2015)
AFP has submitted the following letter to the IRS in response to proposed changes that would implement an “optional” new reporting form requiring charities to collect donors’ social security numbers for donations of $250 or more. 

Joint Letter to Congress Urging Permanent Extension of Charitable Giving Incentives (Oct. 21, 2015) 

April 8, 2015: Free IRS Webinar on Charities and Unrelated Business Income Tax
On April 8, the Internal Revenue Service will be holding a free webinar: Unrelated Business Income Tax and Tax-Exempt Organizations.

AFP Advocacy

To better serve the interests and livelihood of AFP members and the philanthropic community, AFP works hard to continually advance and enhance its public policy outreach and advocacy efforts. We will be vigilant in highlighting new and pending legislative efforts in the U.S., Canada, and worldwide that could potentially impact the profession and charity, and what you can do to help safeguard the continuing vitality of philanthopy (including letter-writing campaigns, lobbying efforts, and more).

AFP Public Awareness Communications Tool Kit Available for Canada Members

AFP has developed resource materials to help Canadian fundraisers engage their local, provincial and federal government systems.  Funded by a generous gift from Don Johnson, together with donations raised through the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada’s Every Member Campaign and funds from the Winnipeg Foundation, this toolkit of information is now available online in both English and French. “The Foundation sees this investment as a way of empowering non-profit leaders in conversations,” explains Scott Decksheimer, CFRE, chair of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy-Canada. “Ultimately, the fact sheets can be used with the media, internal organizational audiences and legislators.  These are all critical conversations that require consistent fact-based information.”

A framework for engagement

Included in the toolkit is a refresher on parliament, including a description of parliamentary roles and the protocol for addressing a member of Parliament, Senator or Cabinet Minister. You will also find tips on arranging meetings, setting agendas and making a concise elevator pitch to members of the government. The toolkit also provides recommended next steps after you have met with a legislator/government officials to cultivate the relationship. The toolkit extends the ongoing work efforts of the AFP Canadian Government Relations (GR) Committee. New GR Chair Daniel Brunette had this to say: “It is gratifying to know that many of my philanthropic sector colleagues, either on behalf of AFP or their own charities, have consulted this toolkit when engaging with elected representatives and public servants. The toolkit provides a best-practices framework for meaningful interactions with public officials, which in turn informs the decisions that ultimately impact the sector.”

Download English | Download French

AFP Chapter Advocacy FAQ Document Now Available!

With the guidance and input of the AFP U.S. Government Relations Committee, AFP has produced a one-page Chapter Advocacy FAQ document. Please distribute it to your chapter leaders and members. It is an invaluable tool for chapters to launch or enhance their advocacy and lobbying efforts.


 AFP’s public policy efforts are greatly enhanced by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Political Action Committee (AFP PAC).  The AFP PAC is the only political action committee that focuses on fundraising and charitable giving.  But the AFP PAC can only function with YOUR SUPPORT! AFP members who are U.S. citizens who wish to support the AFP PAC can learn more and make a contribution by clicking here (login required).

Canada Public Policy Issues

AFP Rebuts Opinion Piece on Charitable Giving Incentive

Political Activities - Pariah or Possibility?
(Apr. 4, 2016) Dan Brunette, chair of the AFP Canadian Government Relations committee, shares some simple reminders about the nature of political activity and the role it can play in your organization.

CRA to Wind Down Political Activities Audits
(Feb. 17, 2016) Read this latest update on CRA audits of the political activities of charities. PS. It's a good news story!

U.S. Public Policy Issues

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.

International News and Information

Position Paper: Face-to-Face Fundraising Guidelines (Canada)
These guidelines represent voluntary principles that apply to charitable organizations, non-governmental organizations, paid fundraisers and relevant third parties who utilize face-to-face fundraising as part of their fundraising activities.

Public Policy Update Newsletter

Emailed to subscribers twice a year, the AFP Public Policy Update newsletter brings you the latest legislative and political developments affecting the fundraising and philanthropic communties.

(registered user account required)

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