Our general counsel Jason Lee blogged about lobbying and advocacy recently, and I want to emphasize how close we are to reaching a new level of success with our government relations programs.
Consider our recent past achievements: extension of the IRA Rollover, changes to the Form 990 and protecting the tax deduction, plus executive compensation, National Philanthropy Day® and stretch tax credits in Canada.
We’ve hit the nail on the head with these issues, and new platforms such as Engaging Networks advocacy tool open up new possibilities, making it easier to participate and helping us reach out to new audiences.
We cannot let this opportunity pass. In an increasingly challenging fundraising environment, we have to make legislators, regulators and the public understand the impact of what we do.
Fundraising is the engine that drives philanthropy. The billions of dollars raised from individual citizens, leveraging against the support of foundations and corporations, can achieve change and social impact in a way that governments cannot.
Don’t forget either that when they give, our donors are voting, in a way, as well. Their charitable gifts are expressions of support for the causes and principles they hold dear. With hundreds of billions of dollars raised every year, there are a lot of people “voting” for philanthropy.
These are messages our elected representatives need to hear. Advocacy can have just as big an impact as fundraising, but we have to get engaged. The opportunities are there; we simply have to take them.