Washington’s nonprofit sector provides services in virtually every community in the state, generates more than 240,000 jobs, and leverages over $5 billion worth of volunteer services each year. In short, our sector is a major provider of the services, jobs, and civic engagement that makes our communities better. That’s why Washington Nonprofits is proud to protect, promote, and advance the state’s nonprofit sector within the Washington State Legislature.
As the state’s nonprofit association, we make sure that nonprofits have what they need to succeed. In terms of our 2019-20 legislative agenda that means building an environment that supports the nonprofits that support our communities. We plan to operationalize this agenda through a framework with three elements: protect, promote, and advance.
Protect: We track introductions of bills to identify potential threats to the sector. Examples: (1) In 2018, we worked to inform the Department of Labor’s rule making on overtime pay in order to protect nonprofits’ abilities to deliver services. (2) We also successfully modified the DISCLOSE Act to ease the disclosure burden on nonprofits involved in ballot measure campaigns.
Promote: We are working to increase policymakers’ understanding of the importance of our sector so that they are committed to supporting nonprofits. This understanding is a foundation to building strong policy and budget environment that supports and advances our sector. Examples: (1) Sharing nonpartisan research about the nonprofit sector. (2) Hosting our annual legislative reception and connecting with legislators in district and in Olympia.
Advance: We are working to improve the partnership between nonprofits and government in ways that strengthen communities. Examples:(1) Washington Nonprofits is a champion for cross-sector collaboration, and will advocate for tools that facilitate collaborative work, such as data sharing and contracting reform. (2) One key focus area for us will be the 2020 Census, which requires nonprofits, government, philanthropy, and the private sector to work together to get out the count. (3) We also will promote and provide education to nonprofits to ensure compliance with state laws and regulations.
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