Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What (and Who) We’re Fighting For

This week, I’m pleased to welcome Bob Carter, CFRE, the chair-elect of AFP, to the blog. I’ll be inviting others to comment in the future as well, and if you ever have something you want to say, let me know! 

It’s easy to forget just connected we are as a profession and as a sector, and how what happens in one country can affect others.

For example, I was in Mexico a couple of months ago talking with some nonprofits about fundraising. I started to talk about the different proposals in the U.S. to limit the value of the charitable deduction.

You should have heard the uproar. Most of the audience was incredulous that the government would even consider doing such a thing, and exhorted me—and all of their U.S. counterparts—to fight strongly against these proposals. In fact, I think they were more upset than I was! They saw the U.S. system as a model for what they wanted their country’s sector to be like, and felt that a step backwards in the U.S. would be a step backwards for them as well.

While I’ve been against proposals to limit the charitable deduction, I hadn’t considered that perspective, and it’s another important reason that we have to defend the deduction and the charitable incentives that we have in place. We have to be active in public policy and advocacy, but it’s not just our system and tradition on the line, but perhaps those of other countries as well.

I hope you’ve been and will continue to be active in government relations and policy that affects fundraising and philanthropy. The strength of AFP’s lobbying lies in its grassroots—the messages that come from each member. We have a great public policy program at AFP, but we need your involvement. You can learn more about our policy work here.

We sometimes take it for granted but our philanthropic system is worth fighting for—and not just for ourselves but for charities and philanthropy around the world.

1 comment:

Stefano Malfatti said...

I'm an Italian Head of Fundraising in a charity involved in health. I read with great enthusiasm your post, glad to see a community moving to opposing the proposals in the U.S. to limit the value of the charitable deduction.
I strongly support your reasons, especially because I agree with looking to US giving system as a model for many countries and not just for those close to you.
Expecially in Italy, fundraising history is relatively recent, but the younger the history is, the richer and more vital. The dramatic financial and economic situation has meant that government immediately cut across all forms of contribution to the third sector and then move himself - as they are now doing - thinking about how to modify and limit our national value of the charitable deduction (already modest).
All your future activities in this field and your public envolvement to meet with your policymakers and their staffs to explain the impact that a cut/cap/limit on the charitable deduction would have on your program and the people you serve, will also be able to positively help for us, or at least an example and an incentive.

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