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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

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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.

AFP Position on Repeal of the Johnson Amendment (Feb. 22, 2017)
Discussion about repealing the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits charities from engaging in partisan, electoral politics. AFP stakes out its position, opposing repeal on a number of grounds.

Giving DC Fly-In Day on Capitol Hill (Feb. 22, 2017)
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.

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.

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 PAC

 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

CRA Recommendations Support Public Policy Engagement by Charities
(July 13, 2017) In a significant win for Canada’s charitable sector, the Canada Revenue Agency has recommended major changes to laws and regulations that will encourage charities to engage more fully in public policy dialogue and development.

Sen. Mercer Stakes Out Critical Need for Special Committee on Charitable Sector
(July 13, 2017) Two weeks after introducing a motion to form a Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector, Senator Terry Mercer delivered compelling and in-depth comments on July 2 about the need for the committee and why the sector needs a comprehensive review and analysis.

Senate Motion Introduced to Review Impact of Charitable Sector on Canada
(May 24, 2017) Senator Terry Mercer, CFRE ,has introduced a motion to appoint a Special Committee that would examine the impact of laws and policies governing charities, and to review the impact of the entire sector on Canada.

U.S. Public Policy Issues

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.

Congress Considering Provision to Weaken the Johnson Amendment
(July 11, 2017) The bill would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from spending any funds on determining if a house of worship or its affiliate broke the law. AFP members are encouraged to contact their Members of Congress!

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.

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.

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