EITC Funders Network eNewsletter
Issue 34 I March 2017 
A Note From the Coordinator

Dear EITC Funders Network,
 
Thank you for being an EITC Funders Network member. As a funder community committed to ensuring economic opportunity and financial stability for all, we know we are more effective when we communicate and work in partnership. As we look ahead to many unknowns in 2017, we also want to take a moment to reflect back on ways we as a network learned and worked together this past year.
 
Read our "2016 Year in Review" for a full account of last year's activities or browse the highlights below:

The EITC Funders Network has an informal membership structure and by participating in EITC Funders Network events you automatically become a member (it's free!). Any interested charitable foundation or philanthropic advisor can become a member of the Network.  Know of a colleague who might be interested in joining? Feel free to forward this email and ask them to take a look at our membership page or contact us.
 
We value your partnership. Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or suggestions for our work in 2017.

Sincerely,

Ami Nagle, Coordinator
EITC Funders Network
919-493-4393
ami@eitcfunders.org

Inside This Issue
  • Interview with a Funder:
    • Lori Seibel, President and CEO of the Community Health Endowment of Lincoln.
    • Has the EITC's Effectiveness Been Underestimated?
    • IRS Data Show Fewer Early Returns
    • Stark Wealth Disparities Remain Between Black and White Women
    • Monitoring the Leaked Draft Executive Order on Public Benefits
  • Upcoming EITC Funders  Network Event:
    • Webinar: Shaping the Tax Credit Landscape in Uncertain Times: What's Ahead for the Federal and State EITCs? Thursday, March 23rd at 12pm (new date!)
  • From our Partners:
    • Grantmakers for Southern Progress 2017 Regional Convening, April 5-6
    • Asset Funders Network's 2017 Grantmaker Conference, May 2-4
Interview with a Funder InterviewwithaFunder
Lori Seibel, President and CEO
Community Health Endowment of Lincoln

Tell us about your organization's work and how family economic security fits into your priorities as a philanthropic organization focused on community health.
Our vision is to make Lincoln, Nebraska the healthiest community in the nation. For the past 18 years, the Community Health Endowment of Lincoln (CHE) has worked to fulfill this vision, which was set in motion by the community when it decided to create CHE by investing the proceeds from the sale of a city-owned hospital.

fieldnewsNews from the Field / Research News

EITC POLICY:

Has the EITC's Effectiveness Been Underestimated?
 
A new policy brief from the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California at Berkeley - The Earned Income Tax Credit: A Key Policy to Support Families Facing Wage Stagnation - looks at the direct and indirect impact of the EITC by reviewing its benefits beyond cash value and examining how the policy encourages additional work. Berkeley Professor and report author Hillary Hoynes notes that the research shows that "the true anti-poverty effects of the EITC have been underestimated by up to 50 percent." 

OUTREACH & FREE TAX PREP:
IRS Data Show Fewer Early Returns Filed 

A recent Tax Policy Center blog post takes a look at early tax filing data from the IRS, which show that fewer tax returns were filed early on in the tax season this year and that average refunds have dropped. As of February 3rd, only 20 million returns were filed in contrast to 27 million the previous year. Elaine Maag, the post's author, notes that the decrease could point to filing delays by individuals who claim the EITC and ACTC, as these individuals typically file early and qualify for substantial refunds. The refund delay mandated by the PATH Act of 2015, she writes, may have acted as discouragement to early tax filing.  

Source: Women, Race, and Wealth (January 2017)
FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT:
Stark Wealth Disparities Remain Between Black and White Women 

Researchers from Duke University and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development recently released Women, Race and Wealth , the first in a series of briefs that examines patterns of wealth among black and white women. Wealth disparity between black and white households has reached its highest level in over 25 years, and research shows that black women are at an even greater disadvantage. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, researchers analyzed data on both assets and debt and found that black women have significantly less wealth than white women, regardless of age, education level, and marital status. 
BENEFITS ACCESS:
Monitoring the Leaked Draft Executive Order on Public Benefits

Immigrant rights organizations are actively monitoring a leaked draft Executive Order that would make legal permanent residents more vulnerable to deportation when using federal means-tested public benefits. In addition to additional restrictions, the draft EO includes a tax credit component - it would limit access to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to households in which both children and tax filers have social security numbers. Currently, the CTC, which plays an important role in helping families with children make ends meet, is available to all households with children that file taxes. For more information, see the National Immigration Law Center's Five Things You Should Know about the Draft Executive Order on Public Benefits and the Migration Policy Institute's Leaked Draft of Possible trump Executive Order on Public Benefits Would Spell Chilling Effects for Legal Immigrants .


Network Events NetworkEvents
Webinar:
Shaping the Tax Credit Landscape in Uncertain Times:
What's Ahead for the Federal and State EITCs?

Thursday, March 23rd at 12pm eastern 
(Note that this is a new time/date. If you have already registered for March 8th, please re-register below for March 23rd.)

The EITC enjoys a long history of bipartisan support, yet there are many unknowns about how tax credits will fare in impending federal tax reform. Meanwhile, state campaigns are working hard again this year to expand, retain, and establish state-level tax credits.

Join us for the EITC Funders Network's annual policy webinar to hear a brief overview of the federal landscape, to learn about current movement in the states, and to hear from two state campaigns -- in Georgia and West Virginia -- working to fill the state EITC gap in the South.

Speakers include:
  • Erica Williams, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Seth Distefano, West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy
  • Jennifer Owens, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

From our Partnersfrompartners
Grantmakers for Southern Progress 2017 Regional Convening
April 5-6, Charleston, SC

In April 2017, Neighborhood Funders Group's Grantmakers for Southern Progress working group is hosting a regional gathering of its members, funder partners, and practitioners to share and discuss the opportunities, challenges, and best strategies for supporting structural change and advancing progress in the South.

Asset Funders Network's 2017 Grantmaker Conference: 
Accelerating Ideas into Action
May 2-4,  Indianapolis , IN

Created by funders for funders, this Grantmaker-Only conference  will explore new and emerging practices that provide insights and analytics for strategically leveraging philanthropy to obtain greater economic security, opportunities for growth and upward mobility for many of the nation's families.

About the EITC Funders Network

The EITC Funders Network brings together funders interested in the Earned Income Tax Credit, free- and low-cost tax preparation, and asset building. The Network seeks to increase awareness of EITC-related projects, foster collaboration, share information about the current status of EITC-related work, and help shape the future of the field. 

The EITC Funders Network is generously funded by:
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation

www.eitcfunders.org