News from the President 12.8.17

Susan Shattuck:

The pending tax bill brings with it two major blows to the nonprofit sector. 

The first blow is the provision of a standard deduction that undercuts charitable giving by a minimum of $13 billion a year.  Unfortunately, the robust advocacy on the Hill by AFP and many other charitable organizations fell on deaf ears.

The second blow is the bill’s projected trillion dollars in deficits over ten years, forecast by the budget office.  It will inevitably lead to massive cuts to federal programs that will hurt many nonprofits and the communities they serve.

What can nonprofits do to mitigate a possibly significant loss in funding while still continuing to support their missions and help those in need?

The long game is to simplify and focus on your mission and avoid complexity and mission creep.  It’s actually the pathway to scaling one’s mission, expanding impact and raising more revenue.  This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s not dissimilar to letting go of something we’ve invested in but don’t have enough interest or time for.  Letting go gives us back time, space and capacity to pursue a more compelling  “investment.”

It’s the long game because it’s a rigorous undertaking, requiring dedication and patience.  Nonprofit leaders must be good strategic thinkers-that includes mission, strategy, impact evaluation, insight and courage; plus be good strategic managers-that includes funding, talent and organization, and board governance.


If by some miracle, the tax bill doesn’t pass (the reconciled bill might incite retractions), the “investment” could still be well worth it.  



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