April 13, 2022
In this issue...
Ask your local candidates to complete nonprofit questionnaire
Join a May 2 policy briefing to learn what nonprofits need to know about the state budget
Do you have questions about nonprofits and the 2022 election? We have answers!
Center urges U.S. Department of Labor to consider nonprofits’ needs in developing new overtime rule
Last call: Families need to file with the IRS to receive half of the 2021 Child Tax Credit
First quarter lobbying reports due by April 22
Bipartisan U.S. Senate economic relief legislation would benefit a few nonprofits
Ask Your Local Candidates to Complete Nonprofit Questionnaire
Last month, the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits sent a candidate questionnaire on nonprofit issues to all 535 North Carolina candidates for Congress and the NC General Assembly. The questionnaire is intended to help nonprofit leaders learn more about the candidates on their ballots in the May 17 primary election and the November 8 general election and also to help candidates have a better awareness of the work of nonprofits. The Center will begin posting candidates’ responses this month.

Your local candidates for office are more likely to respond to the questionnaire if they hear from you rather than from the Center. Please take a few minutes today to reach out to your local candidates to ask them to complete the questionnaire.
We recommend that you reach out to candidates running for office in the county where your organization is based. Please make sure you reach out to all candidates running to serve the county or geographic area you serve. This both increases the chances we will hear back from everyone and demonstrates that you are not favoring any candidates or political parties. To make it easy for you, we have posted a list of all candidates and their email addresses. You can send this email to your local candidates:

Dear Candidates, As part of the state’s nonprofit community, I’m interested in learning more about your experiences with nonprofits and your positions on policy issues that have a direct impact on our work. I encourage you to reply to the NC Center for Nonprofits’ 2022 Candidate Questionnaire, which is only three questions long! Thank you if you have already responded.

Your outreach to candidates can also be a great opportunity to start building relationships with whoever will ultimately be elected to represent you. You can do that by investing just a few extra minutes in composing a message that shares a few facts about what your organization does and what challenges it faces. Here is a template and a few (fictional) examples of how a staff or board member might use that template to engage the candidates running to serve you with the issues that concern you.
Join a May 2 Policy Briefing to Learn What Nonprofits Need to Know about the State Budget
As North Carolina recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, public funding for the public good provides critical support to protect families and communities and advance more equitable outcomes. Because of this, state budget and tax policy is important for the work of every charitable nonprofit, even those that don’t typically receive state funding.

The Center is offering an online policy briefing on May 2 at 10:30 a.m. to help you learn more about the state budget and how your nonprofit can help make the case for ensuring adequate state revenue to support public investments. In this webinar, experts from the NC Budget & Tax Center will share the latest trends in state budgets. They will provide an analysis of the long-term impact of tax choices, and an overview of the budget process and how to engage and lift up the important complementary role that federal and local budget processes are playing in this moment as we rebuild from the pandemic and downturn.

Do You Have Questions about Nonprofits and the 2022 Election? We Have Answers!
Have you been wondering what types of election-related activities your nonprofit can and can’t do between now and the May 17 election? You’re not alone; the Center has been fielding many questions about what’s legal and what’s advisable. This week, the Center posted answers to some of the most common questions we’re hearing. We encourage you to check out this blog post and to let us know of other questions you have about your nonprofit’s engagement in the 2022 election. 
Center Urges U.S. Department of Labor to Consider Nonprofits’ Needs in Developing New Overtime Rule 
In the next couple of months, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will release new proposed regulations on the salary threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Currently, FLSA requires employers, including nonprofits, to pay their employees at least $7.25 per hour and to pay employees one-and-one-half time their regular rate of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Employees are exempt from the FLSA overtime pay requirement if they:

  1. Are paid on a salary basis (meaning they are paid the same amount each week regardless of how many hours they actually work);
  2. They are paid at least $684 per week ($35,568 per year); and
  3. Exercise job duties that are classified as administrative, executive, or professional.

In 2016, near the end of the Obama administration, DOL attempted to raise the salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay to $47,476 per year. Ultimately, federal courts stopped the implementation of the Obama-era overtime rule, and the Trump administration elected to use a lower salary threshold (the current level of $35,568) for exemption from overtime pay. It is likely that the forthcoming DOL regulations will set a salary threshold closer to that of the 2016 proposal. DOL also could make changes to the duties tests for administrative, executive, and professional employees.

Yesterday, the Center and a few other nonprofits from around the country met with DOL to discuss nonprofit-specific considerations in the forthcoming overtime regulations. The Center explained that nonprofits had expressed “moral support, but operational anxiety” about the 2016 overtime rule, since the proposed increase to the salary threshold would have meant significant pay raises for many low-income workers, but also would have created immediate new payroll expenses for many nonprofit organizations. Specifically, the Center urged DOL to do three things:

  1. Give nonprofits (and other employers) adequate time to make operational and budget changes that would be necessitated by a large increase to the salary threshold. One way to do this would be phase in a large increase in the salary threshold over several years.
  2. Provide guidance explaining how common nonprofit jobs that are found in other sectors – like fundraisers, volunteer coordinators, and social service program staff – fit into the administrative, executive, and professional duties tests. DOL currently provides guidance on a variety of positions that are prevalent in for-profit businesses, but it doesn’t currently offer much guidance for nonprofit jobs.
  3. Take steps to encourage federal, state, and local government agencies that contract with nonprofits to provide public services to increase their payments to nonprofits to cover the additional payroll costs that would come with a higher overtime salary threshold. Many nonprofits would like to increase their employees’ pay but recognize that it isn’t sustainable to do so if higher salaries are essentially an unfunded mandate from the federal government.

These suggestions were based on input the Center received from dozens of North Carolina nonprofits in 2016 and 2019 when DOL revised its overtime regulations.

When DOL releases its proposed regulations, it will provide an opportunity for public comments. The Center will share information on how and when your nonprofit can provide timely, substantive written comments to DOL. The Center also will provide comprehensive analysis of the regulations and compliance options for North Carolina nonprofits (similar to what we provided in 2016 and 2019).
Last Call: Families Need to File with the IRS to Receive Half of the 2021 Child Tax Credit
Last year’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expanded and improved the child tax credit in three important ways:
  1. It increased the amount of the tax credit from $2,000 per child to $3,600 for children under the age of six and $3,000 for children ages 6-17.
  2. It made the credit fully refundable, providing financial assistance to many low-income families who don’t normally pay income taxes.
  3. It provided advance payments of the credit for the final six months of 2021, providing immediate cash assistance to millions of families in the form of monthly checks.

The expanded and prepaid child tax credit helped lift many North Carolina families with children out of poverty. For many families, this money helped pay for child care, food, home and car repairs, and medical expenses last summer and fall. Most families with children received half of their child tax credit as monthly payments during the second half of 2021 – thanks largely to nonprofits helping these families provide the necessary information to the Internal Revenue Service.
Without a bit more help from nonprofits, many of these families could lose out on the second half of their child tax credit payments. Families are due to receive the remainder of their child tax credits as refunds when they file their 2021 federal income taxes. Your nonprofit can do three things to help families in your community access the full child tax credit:

  1. Encourage families to file their federal taxes by April 18. This is particularly important for families that normally don’t file tax returns because their income isn’t high enough to owe federal taxes.
  2. Provide clear information about how to file for the child tax credit. The www.childtaxcredit.gov website has clear and accurate information you can share, including flyers, sample social media posts, and toolkits with resources for nonprofits.
  3. Connect people with free tax filing assistance. To get their child tax credit, families will need to fill out their IRS Form 1040 and Schedule 8812 (the child tax credit form) correctly. Two good resources that offer free tax assistance for people with incomes below $58,000 are Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and United Way MyFreeTaxes. The United Way of North Carolina has helpful information on tax preparation assistance at: https://nc211.org/2021/10/01/tax-preparation-assistance/
First Quarter Lobbying Reports Due by April 22
First quarter lobbying expense reports are due to the NC Secretary of State by Wednesday, April 22. Nonprofits that are registered as lobbyist principals and nonprofit staff and contractors registered as lobbyists must submit their expense reports each quarter. For more information on lobbying registration and reporting requirements, check out the Center's summary of NC lobbying laws for nonprofits.
Bipartisan U.S. Senate Economic Relief Legislation Would Benefit a Few Nonprofits
Last week, several U.S. Senators announced their plans to introduce a bipartisan economic relief bill to support several industries that suffered significant declines in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. While most of the relief would go to for-profit businesses, some of the $2 billion in aid for gyms and $2 billion in aid for live venues would support nonprofits. 
The Center provides Nonprofit Policy Update each week as a benefit to its nonprofit members. However, to help all North Carolina nonprofits respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're temporarily providing this newsletter to non-member nonprofits. Don’t miss out – become a member to ensure you continue receiving these updates along with many other valuable benefits.
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Nonprofit Policy Update is a weekly newsletter for current members of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. We track state and federal policy issues that affect all 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Learn about the Center's public policy priorities. For more information, contact David Heinen, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy.