Get informed about the public policies affecting your work

Public Policy

As the largest association of fundraising leaders and professionals, AFP is on the front lines of protecting a policy and regulatory environment that promotes charitable giving and ethical, effective fundraising.

To stay current on laws and regulations that affect your work as a fundraiser, keep tabs on:

  • Congress' tax-writing committees, the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means, which oversee issues like charitable tax deduction limits and the IRA charitable rollover.
  • The IRS Tax Exempt/ Government Entities Division, which makes tax determinations and rulings on charitable giving.
  • Judicial rulings that define donor intent.
  • Washington State Charity Advisory Council, which helps keep the Secretary of State informed about the nonprofit sector.
  • State legislative action on issues such as the management of endowment funds or a nonprofit exemption from the event resale tax.

View AFP Advancement Northwest's public policy updates below and learn more by visiting AFP’s Public Policy page and by reading advocacy updates from the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and Independent Sector

Public Policy Updates

September 6, 2018: Nonprofit Voices Needed on Federal Overtime Rule Changes 

Make your nonprofit organizations voice heard on overtime Rules on Tuesday, September 11. Nonprofits need to be included in the discussion - and registration is free. U.S. Department of Labor will hold public listening sessions to gather views on the "Overtime Rule". These regulations guide exemptions from minimum wage and overtime-pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, and certain other employees. Changes will have significant impacts on livable wages and labor costs. 

Register here.


August 28, 2018: National Council on Nonprofits Issues a Call to Action Before Labor Day - The Johnson Amendment is Under Attack, Again 

8/28/18: Congress is expected to take up legislation when it returns after Labor Day, September 3, 2018, that, among other things, would effectively undermine the longstanding Johnson Amendment, the provision of federal tax law that protects charitable nonprofits' nonpartisan nature.

Make your voice heard for the sector by contacting your congressional representative this week before Labor Day. There is sample language and background on the issue on the National Council of Nonprofits site. 

June 28, 2018: Would Changing the Overtime Rule Impact Your Nonprofit? Respond by July 10th. 

Washington State's Department of Labor and Industries is soliciting feedback on several questions. We know that these rules impact many nonprofit organizations across the state and the changes proposed in 2016 rippled through our sector causing many questions and concerns. This is your opportunity to provide feedback at the beginning of the process as to what changes would mean for your organization and nonprofits in our state.

Washington Nonprofits has provided the questions, more details about this issue and links to the comments their organization submitted can be found on their website.

The deadline for providing comments is July 10. We encourage you to talk to your board, leadership, and staff and submit ideas so our sector is represented.

December 8, 2017: Contact Your Senators as Tax Reform Bills go into Reconciliation Process. 

The U.S. Senate's and House of Representatives' versions of tax reform bills are currently in Conference Committee, which is where the two versions will be reconciled. Without a Universal Charitable Deduction, nonprofit leaders believe the final version could result in a drastic drop in charitable giving. And the proposed repeal of the Johnson Amendment would radically change the longstanding, vital protection in law for non-partisanship of charitable, religious, and philanthropic organizations. 

Washington Nonprofits has a succinct primer and guidance on reaching out during this critical time

And read about the advocacy effort AFP International and other organizations led trying (ultimately unsuccessfully) to have the Universal Charitable Deduction added to the Senate bill. 

November 30, 2017: Protect Charitable Giving in Federal Tax Reform

AFP International and Washington Nonprofits are urging organizations to contact their US Senators to head-off negative impacts on charitable giving from the Tax Reform bill.

Review the AFP's Call to Action

Review the Washington Nonprofits Call to Action

November 15, 2017: House and Senate Bills being considered now could severely impact charitable giving.

Join AFP Advancement Northwest members, AFP International, Washington Nonprofits, Americans for the Arts, the National Council of Nonprofits, and the Council on Foundations in making your voice heard about the proposed tax bills in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and their negative impact on charitable giving. These bills are being considered between Nov. 15, 2017 and Thanksgiving

Go to WA Nonprofits' Action Alert page for information and sample language to share with your senator or representative and see AFP International's summary here.

Nov 3, 2017: Nonprofit Coalitions Alarmed About Tax Reform

Americans for the Arts Action Fund is urging concerned leaders and citizens to comment on the proposed tax bill in the US House of Representatives, citing the bill's impact on charitable giving, the estate tax, and on the production of artistic works. For more information read their Nov. 2nd Blog Post

Washington Nonprofits is urging similar action, specifically regarding the Johnson Amendment. There is concern that the effort on tax reform will weaken the Amendment, which keeps partisan politics out of Washington State's nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations. Read more about their speaking points and advice on communications in their Public Policy Action Alert "Take 3 Minutes TODAY to Tell Congress Not to Make Nonprofits Political Tools."

Oct 23, 2017: Call To Action, GOP Tax Reform Survey

AFP is calling on U.S. members to provide comments on the new GOP Tax Reform Framework that could reduce giving by $13 billion every year. 

Background:  The GOP Tax Reform Framework, developed by the White House and key Republican Members of Congress, calls for the standard deduction to be doubled. That change would cut the number of taxpayers who itemize from 33 percent to just 5 percent—a loss of 30 million itemizers! Itemizers account for 82 percent of all giving in the U.S.  Research by Independent Sector and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy estimates that doubling the standard deduction would reduce giving by $13 billion annually. That figure represents a significant decrease—more than 6 percent of all individual giving!

How You Can Help: Go to the GOP Tax Reform Survey website and provide your comments on how the tax reform plan will affect your organization.  

AFP's Response: To address this issue, AFP is calling for Congress to include the universal charitable deduction in the tax reform plan. A universal charitable deduction would allow all taxpayers, regardless of whether they itemize or not, to take a charitable deduction.  AFP has provided talking points. Members should feel free to use whatever points they would like and can edit and/or personalize them as well.

Review AFP's full statement on their website.  

Please contact AFP Advancement NW Public Policy chair Kirk Laughlin or the AFP International's Public Affairs Department if you have any questions.