Each year, Washington Nonprofits works with its board and public policy committee to create a policy agenda.

2017-18 Legislative Agenda

Download the 2017-18 Legislative Agenda as a pdf here.

1. Tax Policy: Empowering Community Solutions through Nonprofits

Consistent tax policies at the federal, state, and local levels are critical to the success of charitable nonprofits in pioneering and implementing solutions to complex community problems and aspirations. Washington Nonprofits is committed to preserving the tax-exempt status of organizations contributing to the well-being of their communities and strengthening and expanding incentives for individuals to give their time and money to the organizations whose missions they support.

Washington Nonprofits supports reforms to:

  • Maintain and – where appropriate – expand nonprofit exemptions from paying state and local property, sales, excise and use
  • Support programs or incentives that encourage individuals and organizations to volunteer their time, donate goods and services, and contribute money to

Washington Nonprofits opposes proposals that:

  • Impose fees, payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs), and taxes on tax-exempt nonprofit organizations.
  • Establish floors, caps, or limits on existing charitable giving.

2. Budget, Spending, and the Economy: Addressing Community Needs

As employers, taxpayers, and service providers, nonprofit organizations are integrally involved in the economies of their communities. Washington Nonprofits opposes the offloading of government services onto nonprofits without paying nonprofits the cost of providing those services. When federal, state, and local revenue is reduced, nonprofits providing public services through grants and contracts with government typically receive disproportionate cuts.

Washington Nonprofits supports reforms to:

  • Ensure that incentives to improve wage, leave, and/or health care coverage apply equally to nonprofit

Washington Nonprofits opposes proposals that:

  • Require nonprofits to meet new employer requirements without adjusting existing and future contracts for services nonprofits perform on behalf of governments to pay for additional labor costs.
  • Call for arbitrary and across-the-board budget.

3.   Public-Private Collaborations: Partnering for Better Outcomes

Nonprofits are private organizations that share a commitment with governments to improving lives and communities throughout the state. Washington Nonprofits is dedicated to strengthening the public-private partnership through collaboration and direct engagement.

Washington Nonprofits supports reforms to:

  • Improve research and access to data that can help nonprofits improve services.
  • Expand flexible funding to allow nonprofits to blend and braid funding across multiple funding streams to better accomplish outcomes.
  • Create new funding mechanisms, incentives, or programmatic supports that promote better service delivery and outcomes for communities.
  • Empower local impact networks to meet community outcomes.
  • Eliminate arbitrary caps on reimbursement of nonprofit indirect, administrative, or overhead costs.
  • Reduce needless red tape associated with reporting, contracting, and auditing requirements.


4.   Public Accountability: Ensuring Public Trust

The nonprofit sector recognizes that mission-driven nonprofits can be successful only by earning and maintaining public trust. Washington Nonprofits supports the existing reasonable regulations and policies that make the nonprofit community the most transparent sector of the state and national economy.

Washington Nonprofits supports reforms to:

  • Maintain a balance between protecting and informing the public and preventing excessive and disruptive regulatory burdens that hinder the missions of charitable nonprofits.
  • Set reasonable thresholds for mandatory audits of nonprofit finances.
  • Protect the decision-making autonomy and self-governance authority of charitable nonprofits.
  • Clarify that the applications of state and local open meeting laws are limited to governmental entities and do not generally apply to private nonprofits or for-profit organizations.

Washington Nonprofits opposes proposals that:

  • Restrict the advocacy rights of charitable nonprofits.

Read about our achievements in 2016.