Latest Public Policy News
The following archive contains all public policy news articles and stories that have appeared on the AFP website, in reverse chronological order.
Legislative Update: Senate Adopts Motion to Appoint Special Committee on Charitable Sector
(Feb. 21, 2018) Senator Terry Mercer's charitable sector initiative gains Senate approval.
Day in the Ridings Report
Led and managed through the Canada Government Relations Committee, the main goal of AFP Canada's first Day in the Ridings (DITR) was to engage local politicians and policy makers and establish positive relationships with AFP chapters and members.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
CRA Recommendations Support Public Policy Engagement by Charities
(May 17, 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.
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.
Government Relations Update: Political Activity Consultations Still Underway
(Dec. 6, 2016) AFP is encouraging all members to participate in the ongoing, online consultations regarding charity participation in "political activities."
Public Policy Update: Opportunities to Contribute to Public Policy and Public Debate!
(Oct. 17, 2016) Take note of these opportunities to participate and have your voice heard. Whether the topic is political activities by charities or the impact of CASL on the nonprofit sector, your perspective matters!
Real Estate Gifts In Canada, What is the Lay Of The Land And How Is AFP Involved?
(August 8, 2016) Your AFP Government Relations Committee is advocating for more real estate gifts to charity in Canada. Read on for information on how you can support this initiative.
Save the Date for Congress 2016!
(August 8, 2016) Before we know it, we'll be immersed in busy Fall activity! Take a moment and note the dates for AFP Congress 2016 in your calendar.
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.
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.
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.”
GR TOOL KIT: New Governments, New Resources, New Opportunities!
(Feb. 17, 2016) A refresh of the AFP Canada government relations toolkit walks you through the process of initiating government relations on behalf of your charity and/or the issue it represents.
Open Letter to all AFP Members in Canada - Re: The 2016 Budget and Charitable Giving
(Feb. 17, 2016) Donald Johnson encourages all AFP members to get involved in an ongoing advocacy campaign on behalf of Canada’s charities. Read on for more information.
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!
Government Relations Tool Kit: If You Build It They Will Come
(Feb. 8, 2016) The newest AFP Canada toolkit walks you through the process of working with government officials on behalf of your charity and/or the issue it represents. Now, the question is, are you ready to start using the information to further GR public policy relevant to the nonprofit sector?
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.
Election Results Mean New Public Policy Opportunities for Philanthropy
(Nov. 18, 2015) On November 4, 2015 Justin Trudeau was sworn in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada. What does his new government, along with his 30-member Cabinet, mean for fundraising and philanthropy?
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.
New Charity Platform/Fact Sheet Available for Chapters, Members to Highlight Sector
(Sept. 1, 2015) With the October election quickly approaching, AFP is encouraging members to highlight the new federal charity platform developed by a coalition of charitable organizations and associations.
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.
Changes to the Lobbyist Code of Conduct
(June 9, 2015) A lobbyist is a person who is paid to influence the introduction of or voting on legislation or the decisions of government administrators; and who spend 30 percent or more of their time doing so. Wendy Noble explains why changes to the Lobbyist Code of Conduct are of concern for anyone inviting a government official to a charity event.
Parliament Hill Day Builds Trust, Sets Stage for Future Advocacy
(June 9, 2015) In May 2015, AFP participated in the first "Hill Day" in Ottawa to educate Parliament about the importance of Canada’s charitable sector and the impact it has upon society.
Federal Platform Proposal: Stronger Together: Forging a New Relationship between Canada’s Charities and the Federal Government
(July 14, 2015) Available in English and French.
Parliament Hill Day Builds Trust, Sets Stage for Future Advocacy
(May 20, 2015) Last Thursday, May 14, 2015, more than 35 representatives from a variety of nonprofit organizations and associations, including AFP, participated in the first Hill Day in Ottawa to educate Parliament about the importance of Canada’s charitable sector and the impact it has upon society.
Canada: Federal Budget Includes Key Giving, Charity Provisions Pushed by Charities, Fundraisers
(April 29, 2015) AFP is pleased to see one of its key legislative priorities—a capital gains tax exemption for gifts of private shares and real estate—included in the 2015 federal budget. Learn more.
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.
Parliament Hill Day Planned for May
(Feb. 10, 2014) A coalition of charities and associations, including AFP, is planning to hold a lobbying day on Parliament Hill in mid-May to share key messages about fundraising and the voluntary sector with legislators during this important election year.
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.
Canada Revenue Agency News
(Dec. 8, 2014) Linsey Rains, with Carter's, helps nonprofits stay current with what's happening with the Canada Revenue Agency, including recognition of National Philanthropy Day by the Harper government, updates to tax and sponsorships and an alert on gifting tax shelters.
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.
AFP's Response to National Post Article on Policing of Political Activities of Charities
(Sept. 8, 2014) Recently, Andrew Coyne penned this column in the National Post focused on the policing of political activities of charities. Coyne concluded that the best means of addressing the situation is to “take away the charitable tax designation—not selectively, based on their ability to dance on the head of a CRA pin, but across the board, outright.” The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) finds this conclusion fundamentally flawed. The charitable tax designation and the tax credit represent a gesture of confidence on the part of the people by way of their elected representatives, an acknowledgement of the effectiveness of nonprofit and community action and a commitment to the longstanding tradition of philanthropy in Canada.
Taxes: Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) Reporting Options
(Aug. 13, 2014) There are a number of different options available to Canadian organizations when reporting on HST. From nonprofits to charities, Sarah Curry, CPA, CA identifies specific criteria that must be met in order to follow the best reporting method.
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!
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)
(June 24, 2014) On July 1, 2014, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will take effect, applying to commercial electronic messages (“CEM”) that are either sent from, or accessed on, a computer system in Canada, unless an exemption applies. Mark Blumberg, a partner at Blumberg Segal LLP and Non-Profit, drafted a document to help explain what the CASL will mean for Canada charities.
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.
New Canadian Budget Supports Online Charity Registration, Modernization of Lotteries
(Feb. 12, 2014) Budget 2014, introduced yesterday, including a number of measures impacting Canada's charities. Despite reports otherwise, there were no specific measures targeting the political activities of Canadian charities. There are, however, new provisions that will affect and enhance the way charities work—see a breakdown from AFP's government relation's consultant here.
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.
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.
AFP’s Government Relations Committee Weighs in on Canada’s Anti-spam Regulations
(Mar. 19, 2013) Concerned by the potentially negative impacts on Canada’s charities, Canada’s AFP Government Relations Committee has formally submitted its position on anti-spam legislation to the Digital Policy Branch of the Department of Industry.
Make The New First-Time Donors Super Tax Credit Work For You
(May 22, 2013) Has the federal government truly given Canadians a “super” tax credit? Professor Ken Wyman thinks so.
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.
Legislation to Extend the Deadline to Make Charitable Gifts
(Feb. 2, 2013) On October 31, 2012, Bill C-458, the National Charities Week Act, received its first reading in the House of Commons of Canada. The bill proposes to extend the annual deadline for individuals to receive tax recognition for charitable gifts. It also proposes to designate the last seven days in February each year as “National Charities Week.”
Action Needed TODAY: Contact Parliament to Support Charitable Giving Tax Incentives
(Feb. 5, 2013) To encourage charitable giving during this tumultuous economic climate, AFP has offered two key recommendations to Parliament as part of its pre-budget consultation period and the Braid hearings on tax incentives.
AFP Comments on Bill C-458
(Feb. 1, 2013) Mr. Peter Braid, the Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo introduced a Private Members Bill, Bill C-458, in the House of Commons on October 31st, 2012. The legislation entitled An Act Respecting a National Charities Week and to Amend the Income Tax Act (Charitable and Other Gifts) is awaiting second reading debate.
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.
Nonprofits play crucial role in public policy decisions˜
(July 31, 2012) “One of the great strengths of our country is the capacity of each Canadian to get involved in our civic process and advocate for various causes,” says AFP Chair Andrea McManus, CFRE. “Nonprofits provide a critical pathway for Canadians to participate.”
AFP Offers Tax Incentive Recommendations to Finance Committee
(May 22, 2012) On May 3, 2012, Andrea McManus, CFRE, chair of AFP, testified before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance during its hearing on tax incentives for charitable donations.
AFP Offers Tax Incentive Recommendations to Finance Committee
(Mar. 12, 2012) The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance began holding hearings on tax incentives for charitable donations early this year.
Canada’s Senate Passes NPD Legislation
(Dec. 13, 2011) On Dec. 1, 2011, Canada’s Senate passed Bill S-201 that would permanently recognize National Philanthropy Day every Nov. 15.
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!
Ottawa to Review How it Finances Charities
(Nov. 1, 2011) Parliament recently announced that it intends to look closely at how the federal government finances charities and may institute changes to traditional grants, according to an article in The Globe and Mail entitled “Ottawa looks at rewriting rules on charitable giving.”
Take Action Today to Oppose Any Tax Reforms That Would Harm Charitable Giving!
(Oct. 18, 2011) Today, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing regarding the charitable deduction and discussed alternatives to the current itemized deduction. AFP opposes any change to the itemized deduction that would reduce charitable giving.
Action Alert: Charitable Deduction
(Sept. 27, 2011) President Obama recently announced his intention to pay for his jobs bill by capping itemized deductions, including charitable deductions for high income taxpayers.
AFP Opposes Capping Itemized Deductions, Including Charitable, to Pay for President’s Jobs Bill
(Sept. 20, 2011) AFP learned early last week that the President intended to pay for his jobs bill by capping itemized deductions, including charitable deductions for high income taxpayers. AFP is chairing a coalition of groups to oppose any caps that would negatively affect charities.
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.
Public Policy Alert: New Jersey to Impose New Disclosure Regulations Regarding Charitable Solicitations
(July 12, 2011) AFP has learned from New Jersey's Center for Non-profits that the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs has issued a proposal for a mandatory point-of-solicitation disclosure for all organizations that raise over $250,000 and provide appeals that name more than one particular program for which funds are solicited.
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.
Results of Canada’s 41st Federal Election Offers Charitable Sector Opportunity to Re-engage Parliament
(May 10, 2011) AFP members now have a great opportunity to communicate with lawmakers in Canada about important legislation affecting nonprofits as a result of the May 2 federal election.
Update on Canadian Government Relations
(April 12, 2011) I am pleased to provide a brief update on behalf of your very active and engaged Government Relations Committee. Working closely with Jason Lee at AFP International, committee members have been focused on activities which impact members and philanthropy in general. The committee has crafted terms of reference to help define the roles of committee members and to codify the committee's responsibilities and efforts.
Policy Update: AFP Urges Senate Committee to Support Tax Incentives for Giving
Tomorrow, March 30, 2011, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing weighing the merits of government tax incentives. AFP is submitting comments to the committee urging it to support tax incentives that encourage charitable giving, oppose the Administration’s proposed cap on itemized deductions (including charitable deductions) and extend the IRA Charitable Rollover provision.
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.
Salary Cap Removed From Bill C-470, But More Work Still Ahead for the Sector
(Dec. 21, 2010) The sponsor of Bill C-470 has agreed to remove a provision that would have capped compensation for nonprofit employees.
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.
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.
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.
AFP and the CBC Fundraising Article
The CBC is producing a series of articles and reports on fundraising and the charitable sector. The first article contains misleading information and paints a less than flattering portrait of the sector, despite telemarketing being just one facet of fundraising operations.
Fundraising and Privacy: Complying with Federal and Provincial Laws
(Jan. 21, 2004) - With the development of both federal and provincial laws related to privacy, many charities and fundraisers have questions about compliance with the array of new requirements. Even as charities move to comply with the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), provinces are creating their own requirements and limitations.
January/February 2008 Public Policy Update
AFP’s 2008 January-February Public Policy Update includes an update on the IRA Rollover provision, new information on the IRS’ Form 990 redesign and a summary of recent House hearings on Veterans’ Charities.
The update also includes stories about the creation of a panel to support a government-recognized National Philanthropy Day in Canada before the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology and the CRTC’s efforts to finalize its telemarketing rules.
U.S. Do-Not-Call List Now Permanent
(Feb. 25, 2008) Phone numbers on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) national Do-Not-Call List will remain there permanently unless voluntarily removed under a bill signed into law recently by President Bush.
National Philanthropy Day® Bill Set for Consideration by Canadian Senate
(April 21, 2008) A bill to create a government-recognized and sponsored National Philanthropy Day® in Canada has been approved by a Senate committee and could be voted upon in the next couple of weeks.
CRA Calls for Comments on Fundraising Cost Guidelines
(April 28, 2008)The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has proposed new guidelines on how charities should report fundraising costs and whether expenses can be considered charitable or fundraising.
Contact Your Senator to Pass the NPD Bill
(April 28, 2008) Canada is on the verge of becoming the first country to enact a government-recognized National Philanthropy Day (NPD), but your help is needed.
President’s Budget Includes IRA Rollover, Other Giving Provisions
(Feb. 11, 2008) President Bush’s proposed 2009 budget contains a provision to make permanent the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Rollover provision, which expired at the end of 2007.
AFP Urges Congress to Include IRA Rollover in Stimulus Package
(Jan. 28, 2008) AFP has submitted a written statement to the Senate Finance Committee, urging Senators to include an extension of the IRA Rollover provision in the economic stimulus package currently being considered.
President’s Budget Includes IRA Rollover, Other Giving Provisions
(Feb. 11, 2008) President Bush’s proposed 2009 budget contains a provision to make permanent the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Rollover provision, which expired at the end of 2007.
Nonprofit Postage Rates Increasing May 12
(May 8, 2008) Nonprofit mail rates will increase by an average of 0.7 percent starting on May 12.
Charity Fraud Less Than One Percent of All 2007 Complaints
(Feb. 19, 2008) While public concern remains high, charity fraud ranked just twentieth on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) list of complaints in 2007.
AFP Co-Hosts Summit to Strengthen Canadian Nonprofit Sector
(June 16, 2008) On May 27, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Volunteer Canada and Imagine Canada came together to host The Summit, an event that brought together nearly 250 nonprofit leaders with the aim of identifying practical ways to build a more sustainable charitable and nonprofit sector in Canada.
CRA Extends Deadline for Comments on Fundraising Cost Guidelines
(June 2, 2008) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has extended the deadline for comments from the charitable sector and the public about new guidelines on how charities should report fundraising costs and whether expenses can be considered charitable or fundraising.
National Philanthropy Day Vote Postponed Until Fall 2008
(June 30, 2008) Despite a deluge of support from AFP members and fundraisers across Canada, the House of Commons failed to vote on Bill S-204, the National Philanthropy Day (NPD) legislation.
IRS Boosts Gas Mileage Rates, Charitable Deduction Unchanged
(June 30, 2008) Due to rising gasoline prices, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has increased the optional standard mileage rates that determine the deductable cost of using an automobile for business, medical and moving purposes. However, the mileage rate for automobile use for charitable purposes stayed the same.
CRA Releases Recommendations on Small and Rural Charities
(June 30, 2008) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has released the final recommendations from its initiative that examined how the government can better serve small charities and those charities working in rural areas.
AFP Seeks to Exempt Charities From Do-Not-Call List Fees
(May 12, 2008) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) joined with Imagine Canada in filing a petition on April 28, to the Governor in Council to seek relief for all registered charities from unfair fees proposed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
IRA Rollover Provision Introduced by Key Senators
(April 28, 2008) The chair and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee have introduced comprehensive tax legislation that includes an extension of the IRA Rollover provision until Dec. 31, 2009.
March/April 2008 Public Policy Update
AFP’s 2008 March-April Public Policy Update includes an update on the recently introduced extension of the IRA Rollover provision and the IRS' request for comments on the Form 990 redesign instructions.
The update also includes a call for Canadians to contact their Members of Parliament to support a government-recognized National Philanthropy Day®; the CRA’s request for comments on proposed fundraising guidelines; the joint petition submitted by AFP and Imagine Canada regarding the CRTC telemarketing rules; and an update on the Canadian Budget.
CRA Issues Guidance on Umbrella Organizations, Promotion of Volunteerism
(June 2, 2008) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has released two new policy statements related to the registration of organizations that serve a charitable purpose by working with member groups and organizations whose mission is to promote volunteerism.
House Passes IRA Rollover
(May 26, 2008) The House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday, May 21, that included an extension of the IRA Rollover provision.
Some Fundraising Concerns Addressed in New Form 990
(Jan. 14, 2008) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a redesigned version of the Form 990 in late 2007 that addresses many of the concerns raised by AFP and other fundraising organizations.
Charities Exempt from Do-Not-Call List, But Subject to Other Telemarketing Requirements
(Aug. 13, 2007) The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissions (CRTC) has exempted charities from a national do-not-call list, but has made them subject to other requirements under its telemarketing rules.
IRS Releases New Draft Form 990 With More Focus on Fundraising
(June 18, 2007) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has introduced a draft of a new Form 990 that would focus more on several areas, including fundraising and noncash charitable contributions.
AFP to Congress: Make the IRA Rollover Permanent
(July 30, 2007) In written comments delivered to Congress on Tuesday, July 24, AFP called for the expansion and permanent extension of the IRA Rollover provision and congressional allocation of greater resources for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) enforcement initiatives.
IRS Releases Draft Redesigned Form 990
(Sept. 10, 2007) Charles (Chip) Watkins, a former attorney who worked in the Employee Benefits and Exempt Organizations Division of the Internal Revenue Service, discusses one of the biggest changes in charity regulation over the past several decades: the new Form 990 and how it may affect charities.
New Charitable Regulations Not High Priority for Finance Chair
(Aug. 20, 2007) The chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) recently told The Chronicle of Philanthropy that enacting new charitable reforms is not high on his priority list.
Canadian Charities Can Now Complete Annual Returns Online
(May 29, 2007) Registered charities can now use fillable forms to complete their annual returns and attachments online at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website, although the forms must still be submitted to the agency via regular mail.
Action Needed to Delay New Postage Increases
(Apr. 30, 2007) All U.S. AFP members are asked to send letters to their members of Congress to delay implementation of a new mailing category, not flat-machinable (NFM) mail pieces, that could increase postage costs by 100 to 400 percent for some charities.
Charities May Receive Small, Temporary Break on Certain Postage Rates
(June 4, 2007) The Postal Regulatory Commission has recommended that certain nonprofit rates be reduced for four months until the significant postage increases for standard mail flats come into effect in September.
Tell Congress to Support the IRA Rollover!
Take five minutes (or less) out of your day and tell your members of Congress to support the IRA Rollover provision. All the information and step-by-step instructions are here.
Finance Committee Calls for Updated, More Extensive Form 990
(June 4, 2007) Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the chair and ranking member of the Finance Committee respectively, have asked the U.S. Department of the Treasury to update the Form 990, the annual charity reporting form, and include more information about fundraising.
IRA Rollover Extension Approved by the House
(Nov. 12, 2007) The House of Representatives has passed legislation, the Temporary Tax Relief Act of 2007 (H.R. 3996), that includes a one-year extension of the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) rollover provision and several other charitable giving incentives.
Senate Considering Nonprofit Hospital Reforms
(Nov. 5, 2007) Republican staff for the Senate Finance Committee has developed a series of proposed reforms related to governance, meeting community needs and levels of charitable care.
CRA Cracking Down on Compliance, Enforcement of Form T3010A
(Dec. 3, 2007) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has indicated it will be cracking down on registered charities that either file their Forms T3010A late or not at all; at the same time, it also is providing increased guidance on how organizations can comply with these requirements.
2007 Year End Public Policy Update
AFP’s 2007 Year End Public Policy Update includes an update on the IRA Rollover provision and information on the IRS’ recently released Form 990 redesign.
The update also includes stories on AFP’s comments to Canada’s Accountability Reference Group regarding its recent discussion paper and AFP’s comments on the Canada Revenue Agency’s proposed new Form T3010.
House Panel Probes Fundraising by Veteran’s Charities
(Dec. 17, 2007) Allegations of ineffective and inefficient fundraising, as well as misuse of funds raised, have been directed at charities that serve military veterans in the wake of a Dec. 13 hearing held by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Congress Debating the Value of Certain Charitable Causes
(Oct. 1, 2007) A recent congressional hearing about whether or not charities are doing enough to serve poor and diverse communities included concerns about whether contributions to certain nonprofits should be treated the same for tax and deduction purposes.
AFP Submits Comments on Revised Form 990
(Sept. 17, 2007) The new draft Form 990’s increased reliance on simplistic percentages and its expansion into the areas of governance and best practices will tend to mislead donors and create significant problems for charities, according to comments submitted by AFP.
Making the Do-Not-Call List Permanent?
(Oct. 1, 2007) With many telephone numbers about to drop off the national do-not-call list, Congress has introduced legislation to make enrollment on the registry permanent.
Taxpayers Still Taking Unsubstantiated Deductions for Vehicle Contributions
(Oct. 15, 2007) The U.S. Treasury Department estimates that over 100,000 individuals claimed unsubstantiated motor vehicle donations totaling more than $200 million in 2005.
IRS Makes Fundraising Changes to New Proposed Form 990
(Oct. 8, 2007) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made several significant changes to its new proposed Form 990, including several requested specifically by AFP.
Action Needed: CRTC Telemarketing Rules and a Charitable Exemption
(July 11, 2008) AFP strongly encourages all Canadian members to contact Cabinet to urge it to oppose new regulatory obligations and costs imposed on charities under the federal telemarketing rules. These obligations and costs arise as a result of a recent ruling by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and run directly counter to the exemption provided to registered charities by Parliament under the Telecommunications Act.
Canadian Public Policy Issues
Canadian public policy issues
Help AFP Fight Proposals That Would Limit Charitable Deductions
As Congress turns its attention to healthcare, the Obama Administration indicates it is interested in using the limitation on charitable deductions to help foot the bill for reforms.
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.
Canadian National Philanthropy Day Legislation Awaits Passage in the House
(Sept. 8, 2009) On June 2, 2009, the Senate approved a bill that would create the first permanent government-recognized National Philanthropy Day® (NPD) in the world. The bill will likely be considered in the House of Commons in October.
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.
Find sample scholarship guidelines and application forms submitted by AFP chapters.
Foundations Created by Canadian Government under Investigation
(March 7, 2005) Canadian Auditor General Sheila Fraser is scrutinizing the accountability of several foundations created by the federal government.
California Considering Diversity Disclosure for Foundations
(Feb. 11, 2008) The California Assembly has passed legislation that would require foundations with more than $250 million in assets to disclose ethnic, gender and sexual orientation information about their boards of directors and their grant and contract recipients.
Obama Administration Continues to Push Proposal to Limit Charitable Deduction for the Wealthy
(May 19, 2009) As Congress turns its attention to healthcare, the Obama Administration indicates it is interested in using the limitation on charitable deductions to help foot the bill for reforms.
AFP Submits Comments on CRA Fundraising Guidelines Proposal
(Sept. 8, 2008) As part of a broad coalition of groups AFP submitted comments to the Canada Revenue Agency encouraging significant changes to its proposed fundraising cost guidelines.
Parliament Considers Bill to Permanently Recognize NPD
(June 8, 2010) On March 4, 2010, Senator Terry M. Mercer, CFRE (Liberal, Nova Scotia-Northend Halifax) introduced Bill S-203 that would permanently recognize National Philanthropy Day every November 15th. The bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. On June 3, 2010, the bill was heard at Committee and will be reported back to the Senate on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, where it will await 3rd reading.
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.
Lawmakers Taking Aim at Nonprofit Salaries
(Aug. 3, 2010) Federal and local governments are contemplating unprecedented restraints on nonprofit compensation both in the U.S. and in Canada.
IRS: Number of charities and deductions rise
(Feb. 2002) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released statistics over the past few weeks that highlight the growth of charities in the U.S. as well as the increase in the number of deductions taken by taxpayers.
Workshop Series: Understanding the Canada Revenue Agency’s Fundraising Guidance
(Sept. 7, 2010) This fall the Charity Law Information Program (CLIP), funded by CRA, will conduct a series of workshops to demystify the Guidance. Cynthia Armour, CFRE, a long standing AFP member and Mark Blumberg, LL.B., a charity lawyer will explain the legal and practical fundraising application of the Guidance.
Your Support Needed for Canada’s Stretch Credit Proposal
(Dec. 8, 2009) AFP members in Canada are urged to contact their Members of Parliament in support of the stretch tax credit that would encourage larger gifts by Canadian donors.
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.
AFP Joins Coalition to Urge Obama Not to Limit Charitable Tax Deduction
(Feb. 16, 2010) President Obama has included in the FY2011 budget a proposal to limit the value of itemized deductions for charitable contributions. AFP and several other organizations have co-signed a letter urging President Obama not to set limits on important tax incentives for giving.
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.
AFP Applauds Elimination of Charitable Disbursement Quota in Canadian Budget
March 5, 2010 (Toronto, Ontario) - The Canadian federal government included in its 2010 proposed budget a provision to eliminate the disbursement quota for charitable organizations, a decision supported by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and charities across the country.
California Approves Nonprofit Integrity Act
Gov. Arnold Scharzenegger approved the California Nonprofit Integrity Act on September 29, 2004, chartered into law the next day by the Secretary of State.
IRA Rollover Provision Reinstated Through 2009
(Oct. 3, 2008) President Bush has signed into law the $700 billion economic bailout bill (H.R. 1424, Financial Rescue Package), which includes a two-year extension of the IRA Rollover provision as well as other charitable giving provisions.
Direct Mail: Paying For Your Undeliverable Mail
(Oct. 6, 2008) In an effort to cut the amount of undeliverable mail it processes, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is requiring mailing lists be updated and verified more frequently. Nonprofits that are not aware of the new rules may find themselves paying first class rates on their standard mail (nonprofit discounted rate) mailings.
Where Do Nonprofits Fit in Obama’s Plans?
(Nov. 10, 2008) During the U.S. presidential campaign Sen. Barack Obama shared his plans to stimulate public service and build the capacity of nonprofits, including initiatives to encourage new and more effective nonprofit programs.
Fall 2008 Public Policy Update
The September-October 2008 Public Policy Update includes a story about the recently passed IRA Rollover provision extension. In addition, the update contains the latest news on the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications telemarketing rules (with a call for member action), a status report on the National Philanthropy Day legislation, a brief update on the Canada Revenue Agency’s proposed telemarketing rules and a story about the AFP Vancouver Chapter’s pre-budget consultation submission (with a call to action for AFP’s British Columbia area members). :
Canadian Group Calls for Continued Government Support for Charities
(Dec. 1, 2008) Imagine Canada, an umbrella organization for Canadian charities, has appealed to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking for renewed support and short-term tax measures to stimulate charities country-wide in the face of an economic downturn.
Bill Calls for Tax Incentives to Aid Midwest Flood Victims
(July 28, 2008) A new bill in Congress would give federal tax relief for charitable donations that aid the Midwest following the catastrophic flooding and tornados in that region.
Objet: Demande d’écrire au Cabinet fédéral concernant les obligations réglementaires et les coûts en vertu de la réglementation fédérale sur le télémarketing.
Nous vous écrivons afin d’encourager les organismes de charité au Canada de faire valoir leurs points de vue au Cabinet au sujet des obligations réglementaires et des coûts imposés aux organismes de charité en vertu des lois fédérales sur le télémarketing. Ces obligations et coûts résultent d’une récente décision par le Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes (CRTC) et va contre une exemption accordée aux organismes de charités enregistrés, par le Parlement sous la Loi sur les télécommunications.
Summer 2008 Public Policy Update
The summer 2008 public policy update includes a status report on the IRA Rollover provision, comments submitted by AFP to the IRS regarding the Form 990 instructions, new mileage rate legislation and the withdrawal of the California diversity bill.
The update also includes status report on the National Philanthropy Day legislation, AFP’s pre-budget consultation brief, AFP’s joint response with Imagine Canada and the Health Charities Coalition of Canada to the CRA’s proposed fundraising guidelines and AFP’s joint petition with Imagine Canada regarding the CRTC’s Telemarketing Rules.
Congress Wrestles with Tax Bills that Include IRA Rollover
(Sept. 29, 2008) The U.S. House and Senate have each passed H.R. 6049, a bill that includes the IRA Rollover and several other limited charitable giving incentives. This is promising activity, but the fate of this provision and others is still unclear.
IRS Issues Revised Instructions on New Form 990
(Sept. 15, 2008) The IRS has released revised instructions and supplementary materials for completing the redesigned IRS Form 990.
Obama Administration Might Abandon Plan to Reduce Charitable Deductions for Wealthy
(March 5, 2009) Obama’s current plan would limit the value of the tax break for itemized deductions, including donations to charity, to 28 percent for families making more than $250,000.
New Obama Plan Would Reduce Charitable Deductions for Wealthy
(March 2, 2009) President Obama proposed limiting the value of the tax break for itemized deductions, including donations to charity, to 28 percent for families making more than $250,000.
State Reporting Deadlines and Information for Chapters
(Jan. 6, 2003) - A number of states require solicitation disclosure statements on all written materials mailed to potential donors in their states. The following lists the states and the most recent disclosure information to be included on all charitable solicitations mailed to residents in these states.
Nonprofit Employment Rate Stalls in 2003, Study Reveals
(Sept. 7, 2004) Despite continued strong growth in the nonprofit sector overall for much of this decade, a new study by Washington, DC-based OMB Watch suggests that the sector's expansion may be slowing down.
Canada's Liberal Party Adopts AFP Code Of Ethics And Donor Bill Of Rights
(Feb. 13, 2003) - The Liberal Party of Canada has agreed to adopt and abide by the Association of Fundraising Professionals' (AFP) Code of Ethical Principles and Standards of Professional Practice, as well as the Donor Bill of Rights.
Federal Cabinet Rejects Appeal By Charities Regarding Do Not Call List
(Feb. 2, 2009) Canada’s federal cabinet has rejected a joint petition filed by AFP and Imagine Canada that would have exempted charities from red tape and fees associated with the new National Do Not Call list.
IRA Mandatory Minimum Distribution Rule Waived for 2009
(Jan. 5, 2009) In a recently enacted law, individuals who are 70½ and older can keep all of their funds in their IRA without receiving a tax penalty. This waiver could detrimentally affect donations made under the IRA Rollover provision.
Important Notice: Congress Puts Healthcare Fundraising in Jeopardy
(Feb. 9, 2009) A troubling provision in the House-passed economic stimulus package (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) would prevent hospital foundations from contacting prior patients and asking for donations.
Congress Removes Language Barring Prior Patient Solicitation
(Feb. 17, 2009) In negotiations on the economic stimulus package Congress replaced the problematic nonprofit hospital provision that barred healthcare organizations from contacting prior patients with new language that gives patients an “opt-out” from solicitations.
National Philanthropy Day Legislation Introduced in Canada
(Feb. 9, 2009) Sen. Jerahmiel S. Grafstein (Liberal, Metro Toronto) recently reintroduced legislation that would create the first permanent government-recognized National Philanthropy Day® (NPD) in the world.
Mid-April Deadline for Canada Revenue Agency Roadshows
(April 9, 2007) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is once again offering its popular and informative Roadshows in 2007. If you are interested in attending one of the events, the deadline is April 20.
FEC Unlikely to Act Soon on Applying Political Rules to Nonprofits
(April 26, 2004) Regulators with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) have recently indicated that they don't believe they will act this year on a proposed regulation that would strictly limit 501(c) nonprofit organizations in their ability to advocate and communicate with the government, donors and the public.
U.S. Federal Issues: April 2004 Public Policy Update
AFP has responded to requests for comments from the Federal Election Commission (concerning the applicability of political rules to nonprofits) and the Federal Trade Commission (regarding stricter rules on commercial emails). This month's issue also includes an update on the CARE Act and information about IRS efiling and a new bill to help fund nonprofits that are considered 'high-risk' for terrorist activity.
Bill Would Protect Certain Nonprofits from Terrorist Attacks
(April 19, 2004) A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives have introduced the High-Risk Nonprofit Security Enhancement Act, which would create enhanced security measures to help protect nonprofits deemed to be at high risk for terrorist activity.
AFP MEMBERS NAMED TO CCRA CHARITIES, TECHNICAL COMMITTEES
(April 5, 2004) - Members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) have been named to both the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency's (CCRA) Charities Advisory and Technical Advisory Committees.
AFP OPPOSES FEC RULES ON POLITICAL ACTIVITY, ADVOCACY
(April 12, 2004) - The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) submitted comments on Friday, April 9, to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking the commission to exempt 501(c) organizations from its proposed new rules on political committees and advocacy activities.
Canada Issues: April 2004 Public Policy Update
The Privacy Commissioner announces that fundraising is not considered a commercial activity under the federal privacy law. AFP's scheduled appearance before the Senate Banking Committee is postponed, but AFP members are named to two different CRA committees. In addition, Alberta amends its fundraising statutes.
IRS to Examine Nonprofit Executive Pay
(May 31, 2004) The director of exempt organizations for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has said that the agency plans to take a close look at how much top executives at nonprofit organizations are being paid.
New Canadian Telemarketing Rules Will Impact Charities
(June 4, 2004) The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued new regulations (effective June 21, 2004) that impose additional requirements and disclosures for charities engaged in telemarketing, as well as for those for-profit organizations working on behalf of a charity.
Proposed Postal Rule Could Prove Disastrous for Fundraising
(May 21, 2004) The United States Postal Service (USPS) has issued a proposed rule that would change dramatically the guidelines for sending charitable solicitations and force many charities to pay First-Class postage rates for their mail.
U.S. State Issues: April 2004 Public Policy Update
This month's update contains numerous bills affecting the fundraising profession being considered in legislatures in Arizona, California, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina and Utah.
FTC Proposal Could Restrict Nonprofit Email
(May 3, 2004) AFP has responded to a request for preliminary comments by the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) regarding a proposal to restrict the distribution of unsolicited commercial emails.
U.S. Federal Issues: March 2004 Public Policy Update
Sens. Joseph Lieberman and Rick Santorum have filed the CARE Act as an amendment to a jobs creation bill, while the IRS has issued new guidance on charity lobbying and the FTC Do Not Call List wins a major battle in federal court.
U.S. States: March 2004 Public Policy Update
With many states just starting their legislative sessions, there are numerous bills affecting the fundraising profession in this month's Update. Bills from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and Virginia.
CARE ACT GIVEN NEW LIFE AS AMENDMENT TO JOBS BILL
(March 8, 2004) - The Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act has been offered as an amendment to the Manufacturing Jobs Creation Act, giving the charitable incentives bill new life and an opportunity for approval in Congress.
DO-NOT-CALL LIST WINS IN COURT
(Feb. 23, 2004) - A major challenge to the legality of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) National Do-Not-Call Registry was rejected by a federal court last week, leaving the list in place and operational.
CALIFORNIA INTRODUCES NEW CHARITY, FUNDRAISING REGULATION BILL
(Feb. 23, 2004) - California State Senator Byron Sher has introduced legislation, the Nonprofit Integrity Act of 2004, that would increase reporting and disclosure requirements for charities and charitable fundraisers. The bill, sponsored by California's attorney general, also incorporates certain sections of the federal Sarbanes-Oxley legislation regarding corporate accountability.
Canada Issues: March 2004 Public Policy Update
AFP has been asked to testify before the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce committee on ways to encourage charitable giving, while the fundraising profession scores a major victory on the Ontario health privacy bill. AFP has also been named to a charity technical committee set up by the Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency.
WRITE NOW FOR THE CARE ACT!
(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.
e-Filing for Charities Now a Reality
(April 5, 2004) - After years of work by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the nonprofit sector can finally file its 990/990EZ forms electronically.
Fundraising Not a Commercial Activity Under PIPEDA
(March 31, 2004) Recently, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart, released a fact sheet called 'The Application of the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Document Act to Charitable and Non-Profit Organizations'. This document reinforces the content of 'Privacy 101: A Guide to Privacy Legislation for Fundraising Professionals and Not-for-Profit Organizations in Canada' released in June 2003 by a working group of AFP, AHP, APRA and CCP representatives.
Study to Examine Creation of Canadian Human Resources Council for Charitable Sector
OTTAWA(AFP eWire-March 29, 2004) Representatives from the charitable sector, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), are examining the feasibility of creating a national human resources council to address human resources-related issues and encourage capacity in the sector.
Provincial Privacy Developments
(March 31, 2004) The following is an update on privacy developments in Canada's provinces as of March 2004.
Senate Hearings on Charities & Charitable Gifts Set for June 22
(June 7, 2004) The U.S. Senate Finance Committee has announced a hearing for June 22 that will focus on a number of issues related to charitable giving abuses, governance and best practices.
Canada Issues -- June/July 2004 Public Policy Update
Members are still encouraged to write letters to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission about its new regulations regarding telemarketing that would be detrimental to charities. A sample letter is included in the Update, which also has information about CRA's new 'charity representative' service.
IRS To Investigate Charity Salaries, Benefits
(Aug. 16, 2004) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced a new project to crack down on excessive compensation and benefits in the charitable sector.
U.S. State Issues -- June/July 2004 Public Policy Update
This month's state update contains numerous bills that affect the fundraising profession being considered in legislatures in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Michigan and New York.
Organization Needed to Create Public Awareness Campaign for Canada's Charities
(July 29, 2004) Social Development Canada (SDC) is issuing a call for proposals to design a national communications campaign that will increase public awareness and support of Canada's voluntary sector and the work it performs.
U.S. Federal Issues -- June/July 2004 Public Policy Update
This issue of the update covers numerous issues related to the Senate Finance Committee hearings and discussion on charity regulation, as well as the CARE Act, the FCC's do-not-fax rule, the FTC's proposed do-not-email list and IRS publications on gifts of vehicles and conservation easements.
IRS to Crack Down on Section 527 Organizations
(Aug. 25, 2004) Section 527 political groups, which have become very controversial during the current Presidential campaign, will now have to be more accountable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
AFP's Comments On the CAN-SPAM Act
(October 14, 2004) AFP's comments before the Federal Trade Commission regarding the CANSPAM Act.
Alberta, BC Charities Exempt From Federal Privacy Law
(Nov. 7, 2004) The Canadian government announced on Wednesday, Nov. 3, that the federal privacy law - the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA - would no longer apply to organizations, including charities, in Alberta and British Columbia.
AFP Alert: CRTC Decision 2004-35
(October 4, 2004) AFP continues to urge its members to write to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in support of AFP's application to review and vary CRTC Decision 2004-35 that establishes new telemarketing regulations that would detrimentally affect charitable organizations.
California Regulatory Bill Passes Senate, Heads to Governor's Office
(Aug. 27, 2004) The California Senate approved S.B. 1262, the California Nonprofit Integrity Act, on Thursday, Aug. 26, by a vote of 22-13. The bill now heads to the Governor's office for his consideration.
AFP to Seek Changes in CRTC Telemarketing Rules
(Sept. 13, 2004) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will be asking for members' assistance when it submits an application for variance to the Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requesting that significant changes be made its new telemarketing regulations.
Canadian Charities Asked To Contact CRTC By June 18!
(June 14, 2004) June 18 is the deadline for submitting comments to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regarding the impact that its new telemarketing regulations will have on fundraising.
Letters Needed on New Postal Service Regs'Write Now!
(June 14, 2004) Comments to the United States Postal Service (USPS) regarding its proposed new 'exclusive purpose' regulations are due by June 18, and all U.S. charities and fundraisers are encouraged to write letters.
U.S. State Issues -- May 2004 Public Policy Update
This month's update contains numerous bills that affect the fundraising profession being considered in legislatures in Alaska, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont.
U.S. Federal Issues: May 2004 Public Policy Update
The Postal Service has issued new regulations that would dramatically impact charitable organizations, while AFP continues its work on the CARE Act. This month's report also contains updates on proposals by the Federal Election Commission concerning the applicability of political rules to nonprofits) and the Federal Trade Commission (regarding stricter rules on commercial emails).
Canada Issues -- May 2004 Public Policy Update
The call for federal elections has delayed some public policy initiatives related to philanthropy. However, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has issued new regulations regarding telemarketing that would be detrimental to charities. AFP members are encouraged to respond.
AFP to Congress: Prohibit Percentage-Based Compensation
(July 26, 2004) One of the most important steps Congress can take in increasing public confidence in charities is to outlaw percentage-based compensation, AFP President and CEO Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, told U.S. Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and key committee staff members at a July 22 roundtable on charity regulation.
U.S. Charities Now Closer To Fax Rule Exemptions
(July 26, 2004) The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation (H.R. 4600) on July 20 that would restore the 'established business relationship' provision in the Federal Communications Commissions' (FCC) regulations.
CRA Creates New Help Resource for Canadian Charities
(July 12, 2004) The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently created a new position at the agency to assist charities with issues or questions that cannot be dealt with through normal channels.
Help Support Changes to the FCC Do-Not-Fax Rule!
(June 28, 2004) Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would restore the 'established business relationship' provision governing fax communications that was repealed last year by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Will U.S. Senate Hearing on Charity Abuses Spark Additional Legislation?
(June 28, 2004) The Senate Finance Committee is planning to introduce new legislation later this year in response to the June 22 hearing that focused on abuses in the charitable sector.
Madigan Supreme Court Decision Not Expected to Have Major Impact
(May 9, 2003) - While many in the charitable sector feared that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Madigan vs. Telemarketing Associates might erode First Amendment rights for charities, AFP's analysis of the result shows that the case will probably not have broad consequences for the charitable sector.
An Introduction to Protecting Personal Information Collected by Charities
(June 13, 2003) AFP's An Introduction to Protecting Personal Information Collected by Charities, provides a general overview of the Canadian federal privacy law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents (PIPED) Act, including the principles behind the privacy legislation, how the bill will work, what constitutes personal information, the complaints process and resources for further information.
Final New York Fundraising Rules More Positive for Charities
(April 21, 2003) - In a partial victory for the fundraising profession, modifications have been made to the final version of new regulations in New York concerning the registration and reporting requirements for charities and professional fundraisers.
AFP submits comments on proposed Form 990 changes
(Jan. 28, 2003) - On Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) submitted formal comments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding its proposed changes to the Form 990, including clarifications about how fundraising costs are reported.
Legislation Passed in Congress To Avoid Nonprofit Postage Increase
(April 18, 2003) - Charities across the United States will get a break from increasing postal rates until 2006 if Senate Bill 380, the Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act, is signed into law by President Bush.
Q&A on an AFP political action committee
One of the most important issues that AFP's Government Relations Committee and External Relations Division has been considering is the creation of an AFP Political Action Committee (PAC). Here is a list of common questions that members have about PACs.
Reminder: Chapters, Other Nonprofits Must Register with their States
(Oct. 6, 2003) - Did you know that registration is required by law for charities in almost every state? Is your charity registered?
Hang-Ups with the Do Not Call List
(Oct. 6, 2003) - The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is closely monitoring the ongoing court battles over the National Do Not Call Registry in order to ensure that charities maintain their rights to make telephone solicitations.
FCC Delays 'Do Not Fax' Rule
(Aug. 20, 2003) - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has delayed implementation of the new 'Do Not Fax' rule in response to requests from numerous organizations asking for clarification and/or postponement of the rule.
Privacy 101 ' A Guide to Privacy Legislation for Fundraising Professionals in Canada
(July 1, 2003) - Privacy 101 - A Guide to Privacy Legislation for Fundraising Professionals in Canada can assist your organization in preparing for privacy legislation. This guide provides the framework and practical examples of what your organization should be doing to ensure compliance. The full application of the federal privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents (PIPED) Act, comes into effect on Jan. 1, 2004.
Reminder: A Fundraiser's Duties Under the FTC Do Not Call List
(July 18, 2003) - Since the beginning of July, hundreds of thousands of individuals have placed their names on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Do Not Call Registry. While charities and for-profit fundraisers who work on their behalf are exempt from the registry's requirements, there are other new changes to the law with which they must comply.
Q&A on an AFP Political Action Committee
Sept. 20, 2002 - AFP has assembled a list of common questions that members have about PACs and AFP PAC in particular.
AFP submits related business comments to the CCRA
(Oct. 30, 2002) AFP has submitted formal comments to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) regarding its guidelines on related business. These guidelines relate to when and how charities are able to operate for-profit businesses not directly related to their charitable mission.
HHS Releases Final Privacy Regulations
(Aug. 23, 2002) The Department of Health and Human Services has released the final version of its regulations regarding the privacy of patient medical records that will go into effect on April 14, 2003.
IRS publishes guide on tax laws for nonprofits and taxpayers
The IRS has published a guide, "Publication 1771 - Charitable Contributions - Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements," to help nonprofits and taxpayers get a better grasp of the federal laws affecting charitable contributions.
AFP Participates in FTC Discussion on 'Do Not Call' List
(June 6, 2002) As part of a three-day forum before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), representatives AFP argued this week that the FTC's proposed national 'do not call' list should not apply to for-profit telemarketers calling on behalf of charities.
Saskatchewan to Licence For-Profit Fundraising Companies
(Nov. 8, 2002) - With the passage of the Charitable Fund-raising Businesses Act earlier this year, third-party, for-profit, fundraising companies doing business in Saskatchewan will be required to obtain licences and meet strict regulations for their operations.
IRS issues 2003 value limits for premiums, quid pro quo rule
(Jan. 16, 2003) - To account for inflation and other factors, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has increased the limit on the value of insubstantial gifts given by charities to donors in exchange for contributions.
AFP files first ever amicus brief in Ryan case
(Jan. 23, 2003) - As reported in last week's eWire, AFP has filed an amicus curiae brief in the Ryan vs. Telemarketing Associates case that is expected to be heard by the Supreme Court in March. The case marks the first time in AFP history that the association has filed a 'friend of the court' brief, underscoring the importance of the case to the fundraising profession and entire charitable sector.
CCRA issues draft guidelines on value of gifts, split-receipting
(Jan. 23, 2003) - The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) has issued a series of draft guidelines related to split-receipting and how charitable contributions should be valued when donors receive gifts and/or other advantages from the charity in return.
Ontario Privacy Bill Unexpectedly Stalled for the Year
(Dec. 20, 2002) - In a surprising development, privacy legislation will not be considered in Ontario this year as the legislature there adjourned last week without considering the bill.
Charities and Their Fundraisers Exempt from FTC Do-Not-Call Proposal
(Dec. 20, 2002) - In an important victory for AFP and the fundraising profession, final regulations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will exempt third-party fundraisers from the requirements of a national do-not-call list.
FTC Given Go-Ahead to Enforce Do Not Call List
(Oct. 8, 2003) - A federal appeals court has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can move forward with implementation of the National Do Not Call Registry while it awaits a final court decision.
Canadian Provincial Issues
Learn more about the current Canadian provincial issues affecting fundraising.
Canada Fundraising Groups to Develop Further Privacy Guidance
(Jan. 12, 2004) - A coalition of fundraising groups and associations, including AFP, will be working together to develop materials to help charities comply with the growing number of privacy bills in Canada.
Canadian Federal Issues
Learn more about the current Canadian federal issues affecting fundraising.
U.S. State Issues
Learn more about the current U.S. state issues affecting fundraising.
Canadian Regulatory Issues
Learn more about the current Canadian regulatory issues affecting fundraising.
U.S. Federal Issues: February 2004 Public Policy Update
(Feb. 4, 2004) - Learn more about the 2005 Federal Budget Proposal and the latest on the CARE Act.
Ontario Government Agrees To Implied Consent In Privacy Bill
(Feb. 17, 2004) - In response to efforts by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) and other organizations, the Ontario government has decided to amend Bill 31, the Health Information Privacy Act, to allow limited transfer of basic individual contact information.
IRS Clarifies Charity Lobbying, Requests Form 990 Comments
(Feb. 17, 2004) - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued two documents related to lobbying by charities during an election year and how much time it takes to complete the Form 990.
AFP Testifies Before Committee on Ontario Health Privacy Bill
(Feb. 9, 2004) - AFP has submitted formal written comments and participated in a hearing on Feb. 7 before the Committee on General Government on the impact of Ontario Bill 31, the Health Privacy Information Act.
Canada Issues: February 2004 Public Policy Update
(Feb. 4, 2004) - Learn more about the federal privacy laws and Ontario Bill 31.
U.S. States: February 2004 Public Policy Update
(Feb. 4, 2004) - Many states are considering policy changes that will affect the fundraising profession and the nonprofit sector. With many state legislatures adjourned for the year, this month's Update contains information on issues in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Find Federal Grants Easily on New Website
(Oct. 20, 2003) - The federal government has launched a new website that makes it easier for nonprofits to search for government grants.
New California Legislation to Target Charities, Fundraisers
(Nov. 24, 2003) - California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has indicated that he will be sponsoring legislation designed to strengthen accountability and disclosure for charities and charitable fundraisers.
Grant Awarded to Guidestar to Create National Charity Registry
(Oct. 20, 2003) - State registration should be easier for charities in the future because of a new federal grant aimed at creating a national charity registry.
USPS Finalizes Rule That Could Lead to Fraudulent Fundraising
(Oct. 10, 2003) - The United States Postal Service (USPS) has issued its final regulations to essentially eliminate the Cooperative Mailing Rules. The regulations, which were published in the Oct. 9 Federal Register, will take effect on Nov. 13.
Senators Target New York Nonprofits
(Oct. 20, 2003) - New York nonprofits are fighting proposed legislation that targets tax-exempt land.
President Signs Anti-Spam Bill into Law
(Dec. 16, 2003) - President Bush signed legislation on Tuesday, Dec. 16, that seeks to curb unsolicited commercial emails, commonly known as spam, but the law will currently have little or no impact upon nonprofit organizations.
U.S. regulatory issues
Learn more about the current U.S. regulatory issues affecting fundraising.
U.S. federal issues
Learn more about the current U.S. federal issues affecting fundraising.
Big Developments in Canada Privacy Issues
(Jan. 6, 2004) - The past several weeks have seen several major developments on the Canadian privacy front, including the introduction of legislation in Ontario, the passage of privacy bills in Alberta and British Columbia and a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal privacy law by Quebec.
Cooperative Mailings Update: Guidance, Congressional Challenges
(Dec. 15, 2003) - The decision by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to essentially eliminate the cooperative mailing rules has been challenged by several members of Congress. In addition, a coalition of nonprofit umbrella groups (including AFP) has developed guidance for charities as they seek to work with professional fundraisers.
Canadian Government, Voluntary Sector Continue to Strengthen Relationship
(Jan. 6, 2004) - A new report outlines the progress made in the past two years in the development of an accord between the Canadian government and the country's voluntary sector.
New Postal Rule Eases Restrictions on Use of Personal Information
(Nov. 8, 2004) Bowing to pressure from the nonprofit sector, the United States Postal Service has changed new regulations on the eligibility of nonprofit mail which contains personal information for Standard Mail rates.
AFP Urges Inclusion of Capital Gains Provision in Throne Speech, First Budget
(Feb. 25, 2006) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has sent a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper encouraging him to move quickly to eliminate the capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated securities to charity.
AFP Leaders Attend White House Philanthropy Conference
(March 13, 2006) More than 25 AFP leaders attended the National Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, hosted by the White House, on March 9 in Washington, D.C.
Survey Suggests Many U.S. Nonprofits May Be Engaged in Political Activity
(Feb. 25, 2006) A new report by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) suggests that a large percentage of nonprofit organizations in the United States, including churches, may be engaged in some sort of prohibited political activity.
Applications Open for CRA Charities Advisory Committee
(Dec. 12, 2005) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is accepting applications for its Charities Advisory Committee, which provides advice and feedback to the agency on matters related to the regulation of registered charities, through December 16.
House Passes Tax Reconciliation Bill Without Charitable Giving Incentives or Reforms
(Dec. 19, 2005) On Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 4297, the Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act of 2005, by a vote of 234 - 197.
Grassley to Investigate Nonprofit Hospitals
(March 27, 2006) Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Senate Finance Committee and the lead critic of nonprofits in Congress, is now expanding his investigation of the sector into nonprofit hospitals.
AFP Calls on Parliament to Eliminate Capital Gains Tax on Gifts of Securities
(May 1, 2006) In mid-April, AFP testified during the Standing Committee on Finance’s Pre-Budget Consultations and called for the complete elimination of the capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated securities to charity.
Nonprofit Sector Panel Proposes Solicitation, Compensation Recommendations to Congress
(May 1, 2006) The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, which was created to provide Congress with guidance in developing oversight of America’s charities, has released a supplement to its final report that contains additional recommendations related to charitable solicitations, compensation and other issues.
(April 17, 2006) For the first time ever, the federal government is urging Canadians from coast to coast to participate in the budget process online. Minister of Finance James M. Flaherty has launched an online consultation process on the Department of Finance’s website allowing Canadians to provide their views to the government during the pre-budget consultation period.
New Non-itemizer Deduction Penalizes Donors Who Itemize
(March 27, 2006) The non-itemizer deduction in the Senate-passed tax reconciliation bill (H.R. 4297) contains an unprecedented floor for charitable contributions that effectively taxes donors who itemize their gifts.
(April 17, 2006) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules to implement the provision of the Junk Fax Prevention Act regarding unsolicited facsimile advertisements.
President Signs Katrina Giving Measures
(Oct. 17, 2005) The president has signed into law new charitable giving provisions as part of a Hurricane Katrina tax package designed to encourage giving both to relief organizations and charities overall.
Your Letters Needed to Pass the CARE Act!
(Oct. 18, 2005) With national attention focused on Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief efforts, Congress is giving another look to the Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act, and your help is needed now!
CARE Act Introduced in House and Senate
(Oct. 3, 2005) The Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act, S.1780, was reintroduced by Sens. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) on Sept. 28, 2005.
Powerful Giving Incentive in Katrina Relief Legislation
(Sept. 26, 2005) Congress has passed a Hurricane Katrina tax relief bill that does not include the IRA Rollover provision, but does contain a new incentive that could encourage additional giving.
Uniform Law to Create Consistent Fundraising Regulations
(Oct. 3, 2005) The Uniform Law Conference of Canada has drafted legislation that would create one set of consistent requirements and regulations for charitable fundraising in the country.
Provisions Limiting Nonprofit Advocacy Expected This Week
(Oct. 24, 2005) The House of Representatives is expected this week to consider a provision that would prohibit certain nonprofits from engaging in lobbying and 'voter participation' activities.
AFP Co-Sponsors CARE Day Event on Capitol Hill
(Nov. 14, 2005) On Tuesday, Nov. 8, AFP participated in Congressional CARE Day to urge Congress to pass the Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act before the end of this session.
U.S. Senate Passes Tax Reconciliation Bill Containing Giving Incentives and New Taxes on Certain Contributions
(Nov. 21, 2005) Late last week, the U.S. Senate passed a tax reconciliation act (S. 2020), containing both charitable giving incentives and charity reforms, by a vote of 64-33. Sen. Santorum (R-Pa.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, successfully offered an amendment in committee that allowed specified charitable giving provisions from the CARE Act (S. 1780) to be included in the tax reconciliation measure.
Nonprofit Postal Rates to Increase
(Nov. 7, 2005) The latest recommendation by the U.S. Postal Rate Commission would increase nonprofit postage rates by as much as 13 percent for some organizations in 2006.
New "Due Diligence" Requirements Overly Burdensome for Charities
(Oct. 31, 2005) New provisions issued by the Department of Finance are overly burdensome to charities and can place them in jeopardy.
Charitable Reforms Face Roadblock in the House
(Nov. 7, 2005) A key Democratic staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives has indicated that the Senate Finance Committee's proposed charitable reforms are 'off the table' and will not be considered by the House at this point.
AFP Press Release: New Budget Will Increase Charitable Giving
(May 2, 2006) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) today applauded the federal government’s move to eliminate the capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated securities, a provision included in the 2006 budget.
2006 Year-End Public Policy Update
AFP's 2006 Year-End Public Policy Update includes a post-election summary, a description of an upcoming ethics reform package and a call for input regarding potential charitable reforms on the state level.
The update also includes new information on the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s efforts to implement the federal Do Not Call List and a proposal by Imagine Canada that seeks to enhance the partnership between the federal government and the nonprofit sector.
Comments on USPS Mailing Standards Due at End of January
(Jan. 22, 2007) Comments regarding the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) new mailing standards are due by Jan. 31, 2007.
IRS Issues Guidance on Payroll Deduction Contributions to Charities
(Dec. 11, 2006) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced new guidelines on how taxpayers can substantiate their contributions to charities made through payroll deductions.
CRA Information Return Packages Mailed Late, New Re-Registration Process
(Sept. 11, 2006) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has reported that, due to technical problems, there will be delays in the mailing of information return packages to registered charities with fiscal periods that ended in July and August of 2006.
AFP Testifies Before Canadian Finance Committee on Gifts of Land, Real Estate
(Sept. 25, 2006) AFP appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance on Thursday, Sept. 21, and called on Parliament to extend the exemption from capital gains tax to gifts of land and real estate.
IRA Rollover Included in President’s FY2008 Budget
(Feb. 12, 2007) President Bush’s newly released budget for Fiscal Year 2008 includes a provision to make the IRA Rollover provision permanent, as well as several other charitable giving incentives.
Charities Facing Major Rate Increases for Front-End Premiums and Cards
(March 5, 2007) The United States Postal Service (USPS) has proposed a new standard rate Not Flat-Machinable (NFM) category that could subject charities to mailing rate increases of 100 to 400 percent for front-end premiums and cards, according to the Direct Mail Association Nonprofit Federation (DMANF).
Charity Fraud Makes the IRS’ “Dirty Dozen” Scams List
(March 19, 2007) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has identified 12 of the most blatant scams affecting American taxpayers, and charity fraud has made the list again.
IRS Seeking Comments on Donor-Advised Funds
(Feb. 26, 2007) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is undertaking a study of the organization and operation of donor-advised funds and is requesting comments from the public.
Reminder: New Registration Process for Alberta Charities
(Feb. 19, 2007) Nonprofit organizations in Alberta that fundraise more than $25,000 from individuals annually must soon register with a different office.
Panel Recommends Fundamental Reform in Canadian Grant System
(Feb. 26, 2007) An independent blue-ribbon panel commissioned by the Treasury Board has recommended substantial changes in how the Canadian government administers its federal grant and contributions program.
AFP Submits Additional Comments on Do-Not-Call List
(May 30, 2006) In response to continuing concerns from the Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), AFP has submitted additional testimony regarding the implementation of a national do-not-call list.
AFP Testifies Before Congress on Charitable Giving Act
(May 30, 2006) At a hearing of the Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Enterprises, Agriculture and Technology, AFP called on Congress to help charities by passing charitable giving incentives.
Charity Provisions Stripped From Tax Reconciliation Package, But Still Alive
(May 15, 2006) Congress removed nearly all of the charity-related provisions from the tax reconciliation bill, but there are some signs that it may still consider some proposals on other legislation this year.
Postal Service Proposes More Rate Increases in 2007
(May 4, 2006) The United States Postal Service (USPS) has filed yet another Omnibus Rate Case, proposing to raise postage rates again by 8.5 percent on average, including a three-cent increase in the price of a first class postage stamp.
Canada Budget Eliminates Capital Gains Tax on Gifts of Appreciated Securities
(May 8, 2006) In a huge victory for the fundraising profession, the 2006 Canada federal budget includes a provision to eliminate the capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated securities to charities.
Numerous Charities in CFC Owe Millions in Payroll Taxes
(May 30, 2006) More than 1,000 charities involved in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) have tax debts reaching nearly $36 million, according to an investigation by the General Accounting Office.
New Form 990 Might Include Fundraising Cost Reporting
(Aug. 28, 2006) An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advisory committee has recommended seven guidelines for restructuring and revising the Form 990, including potential changes to fundraising cost reporting.
Canadian Government Seeks Comments on Grant Programs
(Sept. 5, 2006) The Canadian federal government is asking nonprofit organizations and other interested parties to submit their comments and opinions about how to make the current system of grant and contribution programs less burdensome and more efficient.
IRA Rollover Signed Into Law
(Aug. 18, 2006) On Thursday, Aug. 17, President Bush signed into law a pension reform bill that includes several giving incentives, including the IRA rollover provision.
CRA Suspends Advisory Charities Committee for Review
(June 26, 2006) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has temporarily suspended the activities of its national advisory committees while it undergoes a review of the role and mandate of these bodies.
IRA Rollover Close to Final Approval
(Aug. 7, 2006) After years of work, all that remains for the IRA rollover provision to become a reality is the president’s signature.
Nonprofit Panel to Hold Field Hearings Regarding Its Reports to the Senate Finance Committee
(March 28, 2005) The Oversight and Self-Regulation Work Group of an ad hoc Panel on the Nonprofit Sector submitted its interim recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee on March 1, 2005.
AFP Requests Meeting with Minister of Finance over Quota Changes
(March 28, 2005) On Feb. 15, 2005, the Finance Committee of the House of Commons reported Bill C-33, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 23, 2004, back to the House without holding hearings.
AFP Supports Alert Urging Nonprofits to Contact the USPS and Obtain Advanced Rulings on Sample Mail pieces
(March 21, 2005) As reported recently in eWire, a new rule introduced by the United States Postal Service (USPS) regarding the use of personal information in solicitations will go into effect on June 1, 2005.
Bush Nixes Non-Itemizer Despite New Study About Its Impact
(March 14, 2005) The Bush Administration has indicated it will no longer push for passage of the non-itemizer deduction, even as a new study shows the provision would increase giving for the United Way of America (UWA) and other organizations.
Be Prepared for Postal Rule Change on Personal Information
(March 14, 2005) A new rule promulgated by the United States Postal Service (USPS) regarding the use of personal information in solicitations will go into effect on June 1, 2005.
U.S. HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE TO HOLD HEARING ON THE TAX-EXEMPT SECTOR
(April 18, 2005) Following in the footsteps of the Senate Finance Committee's April 5, 2005, hearing on the charitable sector, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing titled 'An Overview of the Tax-Exempt Sector.'
Reminder: Canadian Charities Must Use Different Information Return Form in 2005
(May 2, 2005) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is revising Form T30101A, the Registered Charity Information Return, for fiscal periods that begin after March 22, 2004.
Legislative Update: Finance Committee Presses Forward with Reforms
(May 9, 2005) The Senate Finance Committee is now seeking to attach its proposed charitable reforms to completely unrelated legislation.
Passage of Major Charitable Reforms by Memorial Day?
(May 2, 2005) According to Capitol Hill staff, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, is seeking to have his charitable reform measures passed by Memorial Day.
House Ways and Means Committee Holds Hearing on the Tax-Exempt Sector
(April 25, 2005) Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing titled 'An Overview of the Tax-Exempt Sector.'
Postal Rule Changed to Protect Nonprofit Use of Personal Information
(May 2, 2005) After a year of lobbying by a coalition of nonprofit organizations, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the United States Postal Service (USPS) has amended its new rule to allow charities to use personal information in solicitations sent via Nonprofit Standard mail.
Industry Canada Proposes Do-Not-Call List
(Dec. 20, 2004) The Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry, announced last week the introduction of legislation to create a federal Do-Not-Call List.
Nonprofits Must Comply with CAN-SPAM Regs
(Dec. 20, 2004) As expected, nonprofit organizations are not automatically exempt from the final regulations recently published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding the CAN-SPAM Act.
Senate Banking Committee Endorses AFP's Recommendations To Increase Charitable Giving
(December 16, 2004) In its interim report, released today, on ways to encourage charitable giving, the Senate Banking Committee endorsed several proposals recommended by AFP.
Spitzer: Sarbanes-Oxley Shouldn't Apply to Charities
(Dec. 6, 2004) The federal law creating strict new mandates for corporate accountability should not be applied to the charitable sector, according to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
VSI Report Highlights Resources for Canadian Fundraisers, Charities
(Dec. 13, 2004) The Joint Steering Committee of the Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI) has released its second evaluation of the VSI process and its impact on charities, the government and their relationship.
Parliament Urges Reduction in Capital Gains Tax for Gifts of Stock, Land
(Jan. 18, 2005) The Canadian Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance has urged the federal government to reduce the capital gains tax on charitable gifts of stock and real estate, including ecologically sensitive land.
Public Invited to Participate in Nonprofit Panel Conference Call
(Feb. 28, 2005) Individuals involved with the charitable sector are invited to participate in a conference call on March 4, 2005, of the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, which is developing recommendations to Congress on how to strengthen governance and accountability in the sector.
IRS 'Dirty Dozen' Tax Scams Includes Charitable Fraud
(March 7, 2005) The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) annual list of the most notorious tax scams - its 'Dirty Dozen' - includes charitable abuse and fraud this year.
Canadian Charitable Receipts Must Include CRA Information
(Feb. 14, 2005) Receipts for contributions issued by registered charities in Canada must now include the name and website address of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
CARE Act Included in 'Top Ten' Priorities for 109th Congress
(Jan. 31, 2005) The Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act has been introduced this year as part of Senate Bill 6 (S. 6), which is one of the top ten legislative priorities for the 109th Congress over the next two years.
Congressional Committee Proposes New Limits on Charitable Deductions
(Feb. 14, 2005) A new report by the Joint Committee on Taxation in Congress includes proposals to limit or eliminate certain types of deductions for charitable giving.
Legislative Update: Interim Nonprofit Panel Comments Due May 19
(May 16, 2005) The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector has invited the nonprofit community to comment on a new set of draft recommendations designed to strengthen the governance, transparency, and ethical conduct of charitable organizations.
Car Donations Down at Many U.S. Charities
(Aug. 8, 2005) The number of cars donated to charity has dramatically dipped since the beginning of 2005, according to an article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and many of the charities experiencing downturns blame new laws passed by Congress.
Audit Critical of CRA Charity Oversight
(Aug. 22, 2005) An audit of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) by federal investigators is highly critical of the agency for it ineffective and inefficient oversight of the charitable sector, according to an article by The Canadian Press.
Senate Finance Proposals Require Chapter Grassroots Activity
(August 1, 2005) AFP encourages all U.S. chapters to organize grassroots events that will increase member and public awareness about the harm that upcoming Congressional proposals would do to charities and charitable giving.
Charitable Reforms on the Horizon
(July 11, 2005) With Congress returning from its 4th of July recess this week, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) may introduce his package of charitable reforms at any moment.
Canada Revenue Agency Provides 2004 'Annual Report'
(July 25, 2005) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the agency most responsible for oversight of the charitable sector, has released facts and figures about its activities in 2004.
Letters Needed Now on Finance Committee Proposals!
(Sept. 6, 2005) Numerous charitable giving tax incentives are at stake. It is critical that members take action now and contact their U.S. senators!
Despite Reform, Postage Rates May Still Increase
(Sept. 19, 2005) A postal reform bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July was supposed to eliminate the need for a postage rate increase in 2006, but the projected savings may be diverted for other purposes.
House and Senate Introduce Hurricane Katrina Tax Relief Legislation
(Sept. 19, 2005) Congress has introduced Hurricane Katrina tax relief packages that include direct grants to help those affected by the tragedy, as well as tax incentives to encourage charitable giving.
Sample Letters on Senate Finance Charity Proposals
(Sept. 6, 2005) Below are two sample letters that members can use when contacting their members of Congress regarding proposed charitable reforms being considered by the Senate Finance Committee.
Charity Reform: Overview of Finance Committee Accountability Proposals
(Sept. 6, 2005) For nearly two years, the Senate Finance Committee has been investigating reported abuses in the charitable sector and developing legislation. This month, the committee is expected to finally introduce legislation that will cover a number of areas related to charity accountability and operations.
Charity Reform: Overview of Finance Committee Giving Reform Proposals
(Sept. 6, 2005) This month, the Senate Finance Committee is expected to finally introduce legislation that will dramatically affect numerous tax incentives for charitable giving.
Senators Caution Finance Committee on Impact of Charitable Reforms
(June 6, 2005) A bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators, led by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), have sent a letter to the leaders of the Finance Committee, urging them to ensure that their proposed charitable reforms do not adversely affect legitimate nonprofit organizations.
Urgent Call to Action: National Do-Not-Call List
I am writing to urge you to contact the closest member of the House of Commons INDU Committee as soon as possible and encourage them to support amendments that exempt all nonprofits, not just those charities registered under the Income Tax Act, from the proposed national do-not-call list.
U.S. Finance Committee Turns Its Attention to Hospitals
(May 31, 2005) Last week, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, requested detailed information from the nation's largest nonprofit hospitals to account for their charitable activities and validate the tax-exempt status they receive.
Exemption Sought for Do-Not-Call List
(May 23, 2005) In early May, AFP submitted comments to Parliament seeking an exemption for charities from a proposed national Do-Not-Call list, and the House of Commons is considering the recommendation.
Canada Announces Compliance Funding Program for Charities
(May 23, 2005) The federal government has launched a new program designed to support projects that educate and train charities on how to comply with its regulatory requirements.
U.S. Senate Finance Committee Investigates Donations of Land, Other Property
(June 13, 2005) On Wednesday, June 8, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on issues related to gifts of land/conservation easements, focusing on possible abuses of charitable land trusts and conservation easements.
Nonprofit Panel Releases Final Report
(June, 27, 2005) The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector presented its report to Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa) and the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, June 22, 2005.
President Approves Do-Not-Fax Exemption for Charities
(July 18, 2005) President Bush has signed into law legislation that will allow companies and nonprofits to send commercial faxes to customers, donors and members without a recipient's written consent.
Proposed 'Do-Not-Call' List Exempts Registered Charities
(June 20, 2005) Advocacy by AFP and its members has resulted in the exemption of registered charities from a proposed national 'do-not-call' list currently being considered by Parliament, but additional work remains to be done.
Government Provides Guidance on Vehicle Donations
(June 20, 2005) The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have released information to assist charities and donors with contributions of vehicles.
Revised Charity Information Return Now Available
(June 20, 2005) The new version of the T3010A, the Registered Charity Information Return, is now available on the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) website.