United Way and Public Policy

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					United Way and Public Policy:
        HOW & WHY

         Florida United Way Conference
                 April 27, 2004
 Agenda

        Defining Public Policy
        Legal Issues for Nonprofits
        Public Policy & Impact
        Why do Public Policy?
        Tactics for Effective Advocacy
        2-1-1: Advocacy in Action




United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY   2
 Defining Public Policy

        Public policy is a broad term. Includes:
         – Advocacy
         – Lobbying
         – Relationship building
         – Educating the public and policymakers




United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY             3
 Defining Public Policy
     Examples of Advocacy
      – issue identification, research and     – participation in referenda or
        analysis;                                initiative campaigns;

      – education of the public on crucial     – grassroots organizing and
        issues;                                  communication with local
                                                 leaders;
      – lobbying for or against legislation;
                                               – testifying before governmental
      – voter registration and education;        bodies;

      – litigation;                            – issue identification, research
                                                 and analysis
      – lobbying governmental agencies
        at all levels;




United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                                           4
 Legal Issues for Nonprofits
        Lobbying by a 501(c)(3) organization is legal!
         – Tax code has always allowed some lobbying by
           nonprofits.
         – 1976 Public Charity Lobby Law (PL 94-455) and
           subsequent regulations specify rules for nonprofit
           lobbying.
         – In 1990, IRS established guidelines for complying
           with 1976 lobby law under Section 501(h) and
           4911.



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                         5
 Legal Issues for Nonprofits
        Nonprofits that lobby are encouraged to “elect” to
         come under 1976 lobby law.
         – Subject to expenditure test
            – may spend up to 20% of its first $500,000 on
             lobbying.
            – 5% of expenditures over $1.5 million
            – $1 million ceiling.
         – Submit IRS Form 5786 to elect.


United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                       6
 Legal Issues for Nonprofits
           Nonprofit Budget               Maximum Lobbying Expenses
           $500,000 - $1 million          $100,000 plus 15% of the excess over
                                          $500,000


                                          $175,000 plus 10% of the excess over $1
           $1 million - $1.5 million
                                          million


                                          $225,000 plus 5% of the excess over
           $1.5 million - $17 million     $1.5 million


           Over $17 million               $1 million




United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                                             7
 Legal Issues for Nonprofits

       Two forms of Lobbying
        Direct Lobbying
         – State your position on specific legislation to
           policymakers or urge your members to do so.
        Grassroots Lobbying
         – State your position on specific legislation to the
           general public and ask them to contact
           policymakers.



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                         8
 Legal Issues for Nonprofits
       Nonprofits that do not “elect” are subject to the
        “insubstantiality test”.
         – Requires that “no substantial part” of a public
           charity’s activities be devoted to lobbying.
         – “Substantial” never clearly defined.
         – Penalty is revocation of tax-exempt status.
         – More stringent reporting requirements.
         – Highly recommend electing.




United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                      9
 Legal Issues for Nonprofits

       Public Policy Related Activities that are NOT
        Lobbying:’
        – Contacts with policymakers re: regulations.
        – Lobbying by a volunteer (except reimbursed
          expenses).
        – Communication to members on legislation where
          no action is encouraged.


      For “electing” nonprofits.

United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                   10
 Legal Issues for Nonprofits

         NOT Lobbying (continued):
          –Response to written requests from a
           legislative body.
          –Self-defense activity.
          –Make available results of “nonpartisan
           analysis, study or research” on a
           legislative issue.


United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY             11
   Why do Public Policy?
         Every major health and human services issue is
          affected by public sector funding and regulatory
          activity.
         Government spending in areas of interest to
          nonprofits, other than health and income assistance,
          declined 40% between FY 1980 and FY 1997.'
         24% decline in social welfare spending by federal
          government.'
         UWA Public Policy Priorities are key community
          bedrocks: Social Services Block Grant (SSBG),
          Temporary Assistance of Needy Families (TANF),
          Emergency Food and Shelter Program (FEMA),
          Head Start
'Source: The Nonprofit Sector and the Federal Budget: Recent History and Future Directions, The Aspen Institute,
1999.
 United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                                                                    12
 Sources of Agency Income, 1999
                 29.0%
                    29.0%
         Fees & Dues
                                                                                                           40.7%
                                                                                                          Government




                   10.5%
                    10.5%
  Agency Fund Raising

                                                                                                   1.0%
                                          13.7%                                                   Additional United Way
                                                                            5.0%
                                          Other
                                                                           Reporting United Way
   Source: 1999 Community Impact Survey, United Way of America Research Services

  This analysis may exclude some large national organizations with whom United Way has partnerships/contracts. These agencies (e.g.
  American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, American Heart Society) tend to receive a larger percentage of their budget from United
  Way funding than others.



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                                                                                                  13
 Why do Public Policy?
        Policymakers face difficult choices stemming
         from limited resources.
        If you do not lobby, other priorities will take
         precedence.
        You are the experts on the needs of your
         agencies/clients.
        Cultivation of policymakers can lead to future
         collaborations.


United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                    14
 Public Policy & Impact
     Being active in the area of public policy is a key element
     of being a community impact leader.
     Funding from government can significantly impact
     capacity to create community-level change.
     Government-mandated regulations can also impact (help
     or hinder) United Way and its partners abilities to deliver
     on a community impact agenda.
     United Ways need to work with state and local
     governments to advance public policy agenda, as well as
     working with UWA to advance a federal agenda.


United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                            15
                             Public Policy
  From:                                              To:
                                           Proactive - identifying a
   Reactive - activities                   public policy agenda to
   focused on avoiding                     go with the community
   funding and program cuts                impact agenda and
                                           shaping decisions on
                                           those issues

   Reporting - providing                   Advocating - Using
   updates only                            public policy agenda to
                                           engage stakeholders to
                                           write letters, make calls
                                           and get involved

  Off-limits - United Ways                Necessary -
  avoid “lobbying” due to                 Influencing public policy
  potential conflicts with                can be a powerful way
  donors                                  to move the needle on
                                          key issues

United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                                 16
                             Public Policy
  From:                                              To:

   Utilizing relationships                   Utilizing relationships with
   with corporate, major                     corporate, major donors for
   donors only for                           influence with policy makers
   fundraising

                                              Advocating -Elected
   Elected officials                          officials being made
   having no real                             aware of UWs position
   concept of what                            on issues
   UW stands for

  UW data on community                        UW is the “go to”
  needs is just used for                      resource for community
  allocation decisions                        data for elected officials


United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                                      17
                           Public Policy
  From:                                          To:
                                           Marketing and public
  Marketing and                            policy function together
  public policy                            to develop messages
  function in silos                        and strategies

  Narrow board                             Public policy is a key
  involvement in                           component of every
  public policy                            board member’s
                                           responsibilities
  Government reduces                       Government reduces
  funding to priority                      funds = UW and
  issues = UW has to                       partners advocate for
  raise more $$                            priority issues

  UW is non- or                            UW non-partisan,
  a-political                              but political


United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                               18
 Public Policy Barriers

  Resistance from board and senior staff
  Limited resources of staff and volunteers
  Confusion around the legality of non-profits lobbying
  Fear of angering major donors and stakeholders
  Lack of basic understanding of legislative process
  Misperception that hired lobbyists are the only effective
  advocates



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                        19
 Effective Advocacy
     Target Decision Makers:
      – Determine which policymakers influence each issue
        (relevant committee, leadership, relevant
        administrative agency).
      – Identify volunteer, staff and allies with potential
        relationships to target decision makers.
      – Utilize your relationships with business/labor leaders.
      – Build relationship with key legislative staff.



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                           20
 Effective Advocacy

       Keep your issue on their radar screen
         – Meet with policymakers before the legislative
           session begins.
         – Follow-up all meetings with a letter.
         – Follow-up with additional visits and calls when
           necessary, also with staff.
         – Do not underestimate the power of good
           relationships with staff.



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                      21
 Effective Advocacy
            Radar screen continued:
             – Ensure that public officials receive your annual
               report, public policy agenda, and other
               communications materials.
             – Attend legislative hearings, and other meetings
               to reaffirm your interest.
             – Offer agency tour to help educate policymaker
               and/or staff.




United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                           22
 Effective Advocacy
       Advocacy Events:
        – Legislative breakfast or lunch
        – Legislative briefing
        – Site visits
        – A day at the capitol
        – Press conferences
        – Rally



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY    23
 Effective Advocacy

     Timing is key:
       –Work on legislation as early in the
        process as possible.
       –Keep track of where the legislation is in
        the process (committee, floor,
        conference).



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY             24
 Legislative Process
              Legislation may begin in either chamber. Similar proposals are often introduced in both chambers.


                      Measure introduced                                   Measure introduced
                        in the House                                         in the Senate


                Measure referred to committee,                        Measure referred to committee,
                which holds hearings and reports                      which holds hearings and reports
                     measure to the House                                  measure to the Senate



                              For important measures,
                             special rule reported by the
                               Rules Committee and
                               adopted by the House




                 Leadership schedules measure                          Leadership schedules measure
                     for floor consideration                               for floor consideration




                      House debates and                                     Senate debates and
                      can amend measure                                     can amend measure




                     House passes measure                                 Senate passes measure



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                                                                           25
 Legislative Process

            Measures must pass both the House and the Senate in identical form before being presented to the
                                                     President.

           One chamber agrees             Each chamber appoints Members to              House and Senate
          to the other chamber’s            a conference committee, which             exchange amendments
                  version                 reconciles differences and agrees to           to bill and reach
                                                  a conference report                       agreement



                      House approves conference                       Senate approves conference
                               report                                           report


                                         Legislation presented to the President.

             President signs             If President does not sign measure               President vetoes
                measure                         into law within 10 days                      measure
           Measure becomes                                                                Measure does not
                                       If Congress is in    If Congress is not
                 law                                                                     become law, unless
                                      session, measure           in session,
                                         becomes law        measure does not               both chambers
                                                                become law                     override
                                                              (“pocket veto”)            veto by 2/3 majority




United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                                                                         26
 United Way Advocacy in Action
        May, 1998
          2-1-1 Collaborative files petition to FCC
        June, 2000
          Senators Cleland (D-GA) and Snowe (R-ME)
          introduce bill to designate 2-1-1
        July, 2000
          FCC assigns 2-1-1 for the purpose of community
          information and referral




United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                    27
 United Way Advocacy in Action

       June, 2002
        President Bush signs the Bioterrorism
        and Public Health Preparedness Act of
        2001, which includes funding of 2-1-1
        as an allowable use of funds.




United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY         28
 United Way Advocacy in Action

          September 17, 2003
            Calling for 2-1-1 Legislation is introduced
            Lead Sponsors:
            – Senators Dole (R-NC) and Clinton (D-NY)
            – Representatives Burr (R-NC-5) and Eshoo (D-
              CA-14)
            – Bill Numbers: S 1630 and HR 3111



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                     29
 Calling for 2-1-1 Act
        What the bill would do:
         – $200 million to states to implement and sustain 2-
           1-1 nationwide.
         – 50% match required.
         – State-designated 2-1-1 collaborative would
           administer the funds.
         – Accredited by AIRS or working towards
           accreditation.



United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                         30
 United Way Advocacy in Action
       The story of 2-1-1 shows the critical significance of
        advocacy and public policy to the United Way
        movement. Without advocacy, there would be no 2-
        1-1.
       UWA lobbied the FCC to secure that designation;
        they didn’t just give it to us out of nowhere.
       None of this is based on our ability to fund agencies
        or raise money, it is about utilizing a strategy that has
        traditionally been an untapped resource and working
        with government, on behalf of the communities we
        serve, to create change through policy and
        resources.

United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY                             31
  United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY




                          Thank you




United Way and Public Policy: HOW & WHY     32

				
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