Donors Forum Applauds Bill to Strengthen Nonprofit/Government Partnership

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nat Council Member Mtg Legislation June 2010 A bill designed to strengthen the relationship between the Federal Government and nonprofit organizations was introduced at a press conference attended by Donors Forum earlier this week.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) introduced the Nonprofit Sector and Community Solutions Act (HR 5533) (PDF download) at the Capitol building in Washington D.C. on June 14. This bill will transform the way that the federal government thinks about and deals with the charitable nonprofit community in the U.S.

This is exciting news to Donors Forum and the National Council of Nonprofits because it will no longer allow the government to overlook the work of the nonprofit sector. This sector, which employs 10 percent of America’s workforce, often goes unrecognized by government services.

Last week, Donors Forum was in Washington for this important event and met with key Illinois legislative offices to discuss the proposed Act and encourage them to actively support the nonprofit sector in Illinois.  Donors Forum met with high level staff members in the offices of Congressman Danny Davis (IL-7), Congressman Bill Foster (IL-14), Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6), and Senator Durbin all of whom expressed interest in the Nonprofit Sector and Community Solutions Act and who we hope will be champions moving forward by co-sponsoring or supporting its progress through Congress.

“Congresswoman McCollum recognizes the vital role nonprofits play in communities across America and the essential need to strengthen the partnership between government and nonprofits in order to deliver vital services, build capacity, enhance accountability, and save taxpayers money,” said Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits. “This landmark legislation removes the cloak of invisibility that the federal government seems to have draped over the nonprofit sector.”

The bill Congresswoman McCollum proposed would allow for recommendations regarding federal policy affecting charities and force federal agencies to intensify and improve their data collection on nonprofit organizations.

The U.S. collects and reports current economic performance indicators for nearly every other industry, but does not know basic facts about the nonprofit sector such as how many individuals work for charitable nonprofit organizations, how many federal dollars flow to nonprofits through state and local governments, or even how much public support is given each year to distinct charitable activities. This legislation will finally provide a way for Illinois to have access to that data and help both nonprofits and policy makers establish better partnership to serve local communities. Donors Forum applauds Congresswoman McCullom for her recognition of the work of the nonprofit sector and efforts to bring it to national and federal attention.

Here is an analysis of the bill from the National Council on Nonprofits.

Take Action! Congresswoman McCullom is seeking strong bipartisan support.  Please contact your Congressional representative and ask him or her to be a champion for the sector by co-sponsoring the McCollum legislation.

The photo, courtesy of the National Council of Nonprofits, shows Congresswoman Betty McCollum (in a khaki-colored business suit) at a June 16, 2010 press conference with leaders of a number of state member associations of the National Council, including Donors Forum.

~ the donors forum team