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Coalition gives Obama policy proposals

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Independent Sector released six policy proposals to the Obama administration and federal lawmakers that aim to help U.S. nonprofits address burgeoning community needs.

To certify that nonprofits will be able to continue providing vital services, the coalition suggests that lawmakers:

  • Ensure fair fiscal policies and sufficient resources to support programs that strengthen communities. The federal government should take population growth, increased needs and inflation into consideration when allotting funds to nonprofits, the group says.
  • Bolster tax policies that help Americans give back to their communities. Congress should, among other things, work to expand the IRA charitable rollover provision, and provide the same tax deductions for the use of cars for charitable purposes that people can take for the use of cars for business purposes.
  • Ensure that nonprofits have the capital and capacity to address community needs. The government should give nonprofits access to the same federal programs providing loans, employee benefits and legal services that for-profit businesses enjoy.
  • Protect the rights of Americans to speak out through nonprofits. Congress should raise the $1 million ceiling on lobbying expenses and amend the tax code to allow private foundations to support nonpartisan lobbying activities.
  • Ensure that Americans can perform charitable service worldwide without fear for their safety or violations of their civil rights. The government could accomplish this by making sure federal aid stays out of the hands of organizations supporting terrorism or other illegal activities, the proposal says.
  • Support transparency and accountability policies to foster public trust. This would include strengthening state and IRS oversight of charitable tax filings.

Independent Sector is a nonpartisan coalition of over 600 charities, foundations and corporate-giving programs that aims to promote healthy democracies through philanthropy.

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