Economic Stimulus Package – Nonprofits Need to Think Local
The Independent Sector released a report yesterday with a break down of how each of the House and Senates plans would affect the nonprofit sector. Read the Economic Recovery Spending Comparison for details. After looking at the breakdown it is becoming increasingly obvious that community benefit organizations are going to have to look to their local and state representatives to receive any benefit for their organization from the stimulus package.
As Heather Carpenter, PhD student and author of Nonprofit Leadership 601, says “Now is the time for nonprofits to come together.” It is up to organizations locally to combine efforts with other nonprofit organizations and their state association to talk with their state congress and local representatives about how much community benefit organizations need stimulus dollars.
Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies, reiterated the need to talk about the issues locally on a conference call with the Nonprofit Sector Workforce Coalition last week. Schmitz has been working as part of President Obama’s transition team as a representative of the Nonprofit Sector. He mentioned, that although there are two bills currently in congress to benefit the sector (Serve Act in the Senate & Give Act in the House), congress has yet to realize that community benefit organizations are at the lowest donation levels ever, and are going to need help too. Schmitz says, we need to have “bold vision and immediacy of action” from everyone in the sector.
So, what can you do now? Carpenter mentions many ways in her blog. I also suggest talking with other community benefit organizations in your community to see what they are doing, and look for partnership opportunities. Partnerships are going to be important when talking with local public officials. I also want to echo what Carpenter says about c0nnection with your state association, many state associations have their own policy agendas. In Michigan, you can check out the Public Policy department at the Michigan Nonprofit Association.
What are you doing now to ensure the nonprofit sector gets a piece of the pie?