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Policy Update

Thursday, March 30, 2017

As Northern California Grantmakers CEO Ellen LaPointe discussed in her January message, NCG is building capacity to engage in public policy work with our members, our partners, and our Philanthropy California colleagues. 

NCG’s board and staff have developed policies and structures to guide the organization’s re-entry into the realm of legislative advocacy. Fortified by our alliance with Southern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers through our statewide Philanthropy CA efforts, we have begun moving together. We have recently engaged on two issues in this manner:

  1. We are voicing our concern about the proposed repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits tax-exempt churches and charitable organizations from participating in political campaigns on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate.

We firmly believe that 501(c)(3) organizations operate as safe havens from the partisanship that has polarized our national discourse. We serve as places where people can come together to solve community problems. Repeal or revision of the law would undermine the integrity and effectiveness of all charitable nonprofits and foundations.

We invite you to join us in voicing concern about the repeal of the Johnson Amendment by signing-on to this letter, co-sponsored by the National Council of Nonprofits,  Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, BoardSource, Council on Foundations, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, Habitat for Humanity International, Independent Sector, Jewish Federations of North America, National Human Services Assembly, and Volunteers of America. We will continue to follow and report on this issue.

  1. We joined with dozens of colleagues and peer organizations to support the establishment of California’s first commission to align the state’s priorities with those of nonprofits and philanthropy through the Assembly Select Committee on Nonprofits.

We joined CalNonprofits’ efforts to help support a legislative study committee to support the nonprofit sector. We look forward to working together with CalNonprofits and Asm. Limón on issues affecting philanthropy, our grantees, and the communities with which we collectively work.

We are excited to be re-building NCG’s policy/advocacy capacity and leveraging our efforts statewide.  We invite your input and questions we move forward with this timely and important aspect of our work.