On Friday, April 7, Independent Sector welcomed 22 leaders from some of our peer organizations in the charitable community for our second Public Policy Committee meeting of 2017. After an introduction, welcome, and a review of the committee’s last meeting in February, Washington Council Ernst & Young’s Nick Giordano joined the committee to share a brief update on policy development in tax reform and federal spending.
The remainder of the meeting was dedicated to discussion and updates on various topics including:
IRS Oversight and the Advisory Committee for Tax Exempt and Government Entities
Cindy Lott, director of Nonprofit Management Programs at Columbia University, and Andrew Watt, former president and CEO of Association of Fundraising Professionals, presented on the current role of IRS oversight on the nonprofit sector. The committee then discussed feedback the sector would like to see in a new Administration for the IRS Advisory Committee for Tax Exempt and Government Entities (also known as the “ACT Committee”).
Public Policy Education and Engagement
From the fronts of education and engagement, Jamie Tucker provided the committee with an update on Independent Sector’s 100 Days for Good podcast. Now in its 13th week, the podcast has garnered listeners in 40 states and 8 countries with more than three times the engagement of IS’ typical policy programming. From the programmatic side, Allison Grayson sought input from the committee on what future in-person policy events should look like for IS, especially for Our Common Future—the conference IS will be co-hosting with Council of Michigan Foundations and Michigan Nonprofit Association this October in Detroit.
Independent Sector Advocacy Framework and Recommendations
The committee also discussed a draft framework intended to guide Independent Sector’s strategy to build the advocacy capacity of the nonprofit sector. Some of the concepts within the scope of the draft include communicating policy as core to nonprofit effectiveness and removing advocacy barriers. Independent Sector intends to incorporate insight and feedback from the committee in a revised framework to share with the IS Board as they consider the organization’s role in strengthening sector advocacy.
Independent Sector’s Public Policy Committee is one of several committees IS gathers throughout the year to guide and advise our programs, strategies, and policy agenda. As part of our ongoing engagement with our member organizations, our committees are comprised of both engaged leaders from Independent Sector member organizations and IS Board members. To learn more about how our committee structure, engagement opportunities, and how to become an IS member, check out our membership page.