The nonprofit sector plays a critical role nationwide in helping people access resources and services, supporting the economic mobility of historically underserved communities, and identifying and responding to immediate and long-term needs. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits continued to coordinate efforts and provide for their communities, even as they navigated economic hardship.
The pandemic made clear the need for the federal government to rethink how it can better support and collaborate with the nonprofit sector to help decrease the barriers to accessing funding and ensure that policies are created specifically with the needs of the sector in mind. Currently, many nonprofits feel as though they’re treated like an afterthought, often lumped in with small businesses but not afforded the same opportunities for funding or economic data collection to learn about growth in their sector. At the most basic level, the pandemic demonstrated why the nonprofit sector — which accounts for 6% of the country’s GDP and employs over 12 million workers — must have a voice and decision-making power at the federal level.
On April 26, 2022, Representatives Betty McCollum and Fred Upton introduced the Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership Act (H.R. 7587), a bill to ensure that the nonprofit sector has a “seat at the table” via three newly-established entities at the Federal level. H.R. 7587 hopes to help nonprofits and the government work more effectively together to pursue common goals, increase the amount of data collected on the nonprofit sector, and streamline the processes by which nonprofits can fundraise and apply for grants. The United Philanthropy Forum and Independent Sector led and supported the legislation.
SoCal Grantmakers has joined United Philanthropy Forum, Independent Sector, and hundreds of other nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and PSOs in taking a position of support of H.R. 7587. Philanthropy is committed to building a strong and thriving nonprofit sector that will allow us to continue to advance transformative change in our communities. We urge you to add your voice in support of this critical legislation and our nonprofit partners by engaging in the following actions:
Bolster digital advocacy efforts by promoting the Seat at the Table initiative on your organization’s website, social media platforms, and digital newsletters using Independent Sector’s one-pager and advocacy toolkit.
Contact SoCal Grantmakers’ Policy Team – David Carroll (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Emily Michels (email@example.com) – if this or other nonprofit and philanthropic sector policies are something your organization is passionate about and wants to be more involved with at the policy level.
The Nonprofit Sector Strength and Partnership bill is awaiting its first hearing date. As a sector, we must communicate to the committee members and Congressmembers that this legislation deserves to be evaluated and passed. With your efforts and collaboration, nonprofit organizations can have governmental representation and the financial and operational support they need to continue serving our communities.