July 8, 2021
Hello Nonprofit Leaders and Supporters,
Last year’s fires, equity movements, and ongoing pandemic has taught us that nonprofits are inarguably among the first (and ongoing) responders for survival, justice, and reconstruction. As mission-driven entities, many require multiple channels of funding to accomplish the needs of the community. Here is where we begin.  
 
NAO staff and Board have been following the growing movement to urge foundations and donor advised funds (DAFs) to distribute more than the current 5% requirement and ultimately to restructure regulations on how or when donors receive tax benefit. (That law was initially established in 1969). This movement started last spring as the pandemic tore across our country causing great financial uncertainty to nonprofits while simultaneously increasing their service demand. This issue was initially brought to NAO Public Policy Committee’s (PPC) attention by the nation-wide “Emergency Charity Stimulus Bill” campaign. It stressed that there are vast sums of funding within foundations and DAFs management indirectly becoming a funding bottleneck. Donors have given to foundations and DAFs with meaningful intent, and this was a call for that money to be distributed to the community in a timely manner. These concepts have been further refined into actionable policy within the recently proposed Accelerating Charitable Efforts Act (ACE Act). 
 
Last month Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA-R) and Sen. Angus King (ME-I), introduced the ACE Act, which would create new rules for charitable giving. The ACE Act is considered “common-sense” reform, as pointed out by the Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving. Principles of ACE Act are to: 
 
  1. Increase foundation distributions from 5% to 7%, and limit the ability for foundations/DAFs to count payroll and/or their own overhead among this value.
  2. Restructure the current immediate tax benefit by putting timelines on distributions to – either up-front benefit if funds/assets are expended within 15-years, or a 50-year “Aligned Benefit” method wherein tax deduction is taken when the funds/assets are actually distributed (at fair market value). 
  3. Expand/extend the non-itemizer deductions.
  4. Eliminate the excise tax if balance of fund is expended within 25-years.
 
As all policy changes tend to be, this is a nuanced argument. Proponents highlight how increased disbursements would provide much needed relief in order to regain employment, increase (or return to) program reach, cover rising operating expenses, and get these dollars “of the sidelines” and back into doing the public good that was intended. Donors have already received the tax benefit for these contributions so proponents argue the money needs do its work supporting local charities not sitting idly in accounts. On the other hand, opponents say benefit claims are unsubstantiated. That, requiring higher distributions and actual timelines to expend accounts could run foundations dry without certainty to regain future donations. Others have argued that this bill is divisive or did not engage in an inclusive process to provide feedback from those that will be most impacted by the changes.  
 
At this time, NAO’s PPC is not prepared to affirm a position on the ACE Act. We want to be fully informed before taking a position on this important topic. We are following our Public Policy Principles to actively research all sides of the issue. We are engaging in dialogue with our US Senators and Congressional Representatives as well as other state’s nonprofit associations. There is still more to learn about the pros and cons as they relate to our members and communities at large. We are also working with our national partners like Independent Sector, the National Council of Nonprofits, and our colleague state associations across the country. We hope to make a public position soon so for now we invite NAO members to weigh in. How are you communicating about the ACE Act to your funders? Do they have any concerns that we might be missing? Write us and let us know what you’re thinking. 
 
From our PPC, we recognize the important impacts by all our Oregon donors, foundations, and DAFs in keeping our public benefit sectors supported. Thank you for doing the hard work!
Sincerely,

Raziah Roushan
NAO Public Policy Committee Chair
Executive Director, Tualatin Valley Creates
Nonprofit News
As more than 15,000 acres of forest and fields are burning in Oregon and the off-the-charts heat wave just before the July 4th holiday reminded us, disasters are a constant threat to the services that our nonprofit sector provides and so many Oregonians rely on. As we all grapple and strategize on how best to cope with the impacts of climate change, there are also practical steps we can take today. Having an operational plan to deal with the unexcepted is essential to the success of your nonprofits health. NAO will continue to push to have nonprofits and funders recognize the critical importance of disaster contingency planning on par with having reserves and engaging in advocacy. 

As a means to assist any nonprofit that wants to sharpen or refresh their skills on disaster planning for your organization, we invite you to participate in our upcoming FREE session called: Get Ready for a Disaster: Information and Tools to Help Nonprofits Prepare For Bad Events. You can find out more about the session here. Special thanks to the Ford Family Foundation and Oregon Community Foundation for their support to bring you this programming. 
At the State Level
ODHS virtual briefing for community partners on the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session  

Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Director Fariborz Pakseresht and Deputy Director Liesl Wendt will host a virtual meeting Friday, July 9, 2021 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. (PT). The meeting will be to brief community partners on the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session. Leaders from all ODHS program divisions will be there. 

Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
NAO's Upcoming Learning and Convening Opportunities

NAO offers practical, affordable learning and convening programs in a variety of formats, including conferences, resource round-ups, informational sessions and mini-workshops through webinars, and deeper-dive learning through virtual learning cohorts. Please scroll through and sign-up today!

Convenings

Reopening Roundtable Sessions 
Hosted by: Jenn Clemo and Allison Adcox, NAO  
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our organizations. There is much to consider and plan for as we bring staff back to the office, open our doors once again to the public, meet in-person with donors and funders, and deliver in-person programming. In this two-hour convening hosted by NAO, participants will discuss factors for an effective return to in-person work across three key areas: People & Facilities, Programs & Events, and Outreach & Communications. 
  
Each session will be held in-person from 1 – 3 p.m. For more details and registration information, choose the city closest to you: 
  

Webinar Sessions
 
Get Ready for a Disaster: Information and Tools to Help Nonprofits Prepare For Bad Events 
Tuesday, July 13, 10 – 11:30 a.m. PT | Presenter: Nancy Bacon, Nancy Bacon Consulting 
You work hard to run programs and solve problems. You are focused on your work, not on getting ready for that disaster that might happen. You intend to do the right thing, yet limitations on time, funding, and technical knowledge can get in the way of getting your organization ready for something bad to happen. This online course is designed for nonprofit executive directors and board members so you can operationalize disaster preparation within your organization. This session walks participants through the why, what, and how of making their organizations more resilient when facing natural or viral disasters. More details and registration information here
 
Your Grants Success Path: 10 Steps to Get You Where You Want to Go 
Wednesday, July 14, 10 – 11:30 a.m. PT | Presenter: Maryn Boess, GrantsMagic U 
In this fast-paced, high-takeaway training, veteran grant professional and longtime grantmaker Maryn Boess shares GrantsMagic U’s unique Grants Success Path – the powerful 10-step road map that cuts through the often-bewildering “grants wilderness” to lead you reliably to your next level of grants success. More details and registration information here
 
Board Bright: NAO’s Quarterly Board Fundamentals Training 
Tuesday, July 20, 3 – 4:30 p.m. PT | Presenter: Jenn Clemo, NAO 
In this 90-minute webinar, participants will learn about the fundamentals of nonprofit governance and gain an understanding of the board’s role in the management of the organization. This quarterly learning opportunity is designed for emerging and seasoned board members alike, and anyone else looking for a governance refresh! More details and registration information here
 
Get Ready for NAO’s In-person events!
 
NAO staff has been working tirelessly to get ready for our Fall learning sessions that will begin in September throughout Oregon. We’re thrilled that we are bringing them in-person sessions back this year and we will be sharing all of the details about the sessions over the coming weeks and months. We will also be testing some in-person learning events through the summer to help you navigate the ever-changing rules and issues that our sector is challenged by. 


If you have any questions or difficulties registering, contact NAO's Training Program Coordinator at training@nonprofitoregon.org.

Thank you to the following SUPPORTERS and SPONSORS who are supporting NAO’s online events and communications during these challenging times. Their support is vital in helping NAO to bring much-needed resources and information to Oregon’s nonprofits – thank you.
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