On February 14, 2022, a broad coalition of national nonprofits sent a letter to President Biden and congressional leaders calling for “urgently needed pandemic and workforce shortage relief that will enable charitable organizations to fulfill their roles in our nation’s relief, recovery, and rebuilding.” The letter identifies nonprofit-specific policy solutions that would address three major challenges facing nonprofits:
- Reduced Donations. Charitable giving has stagnated during the pandemic, and the three temporary incentives for charitable giving that Congress created to help bolster charitable contributions have all expired. Congress can help nonprofits’ finances by reinstating and expanding the universal charitable deduction and by restoring special incentives for charitable giving by corporations and high-income taxpayers.
- The Nonprofit Workforce Shortage. As the National Council of Nonprofits has documented in a recent report, nonprofits are struggling to fill vacant positions. The report identifies salary competition and lack of adequate child care as the two biggest causes of the nonprofit workforce shortage. This labor shortage is making it harder for nonprofits to provide necessary programs and services in their communities. Congress can help address the nonprofit workforce shortage by extending and improving the Employee Retention Tax Credit, investing significantly in high-quality and affordable child care options, enacting the WORK NOW nonprofit grants and jobs program, and making essential reforms to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to make it more accessible for nonprofit employees. These policy solutions would reduce barriers that currently make it difficult for many potential employees to accept and maintain jobs with nonprofit.
- The Decline in Volunteerism. Many North Carolina nonprofits have reported that they lost volunteers at the beginning of the pandemic and that most have not returned. Congress can help encourage people to re-engage in volunteerism by providing capacity building grants to assist in volunteer generation and management and by increasing the volunteer mileage rate so that volunteers are not under-compensated when they drive their vehicles while providing service.
On March 3, 2022 the Center sent this same letter to Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), and North Carolina’s 13 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Because so many NC nonprofits were a part of the letter, it drew attention from our congressional delegation, and we’ve heard from congressional staffers offering to help with several specific policy solutions mentioned in the letter.
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the nonprofit sector and charitable giving on March 17, 2022. In preparation for the hearing, the Center sent a letter to Senator Burr (a member of the Finance Committee) providing an overview of trends in the nonprofit sector, the impact of the pandemic on North Carolina nonprofits, and tax policy solutions that could help nonprofits and communities recover from the pandemic.