The goal of AFPCCC's Government Relations committee includes:
Encouraging membership in government relations at the local, state and federal levels
Reporting to the board and general membership on issues related to government relations
Coordinating local government relations programs that help educate our legislators on the importance of the nonprofit sector and the impact their proposals may have
To that end, one of the first things we would like to do, is to help each of you understand the role that our chapter can and should have, with respect to direct advocacy with our legislators. Some of us may be wondering if a local AFP chapter like ours can participate in this process and if so, in what way?
Why should our Chapter participate in Advocacy?
The charitable sector is under siege. Over the past six years, there have been calls for regulatory reforms with added bureaucracy for charities such as nonprofit compensation restrictions, third-party accreditation and mandatory IRS audits. More recently, the charitable deduction has been put at risk, which could result in the loss of billions of dollars of charitable contributions.
AFP provides in-house advocacy, which is important, but time and time again, the one proven way to best educate Congress and state legislatures is through grassroots activity—local members meeting with their local government officials on issues that impact their organizations and charities. Your local members are voting constituents—the loudest voice heard among any elected group. AFP chapters are best positioned to engage these AFP members.
Can our Chapter legally participate in Advocacy?
YES, chapters can legally lobby. AFP chapters are organized as 501(c)(3) entities under the Internal Revenue Code – as are most typical charities. The rule is that lobbying cannot be a substantial part of the chapter’s mission and expenditures for lobbying must be limited (e.g., only 20% of the first $500,000 of your annual expenditures can be spent on lobbying [$100,000]).
In the coming months we hope to be able to interact with each and every one of you and that you will join us in our efforts.
If you are interested in joining the Government Relations committee, please contact John Adams.