Council Connection: Updates for Council Members

Public policy news and updates for the philanthropic sector

Happening at the Council

Council Leadership Meeting with Rep. Buchanan

This week, Kathleen Enright, President and CEO of the Council, and David Kass, Vice President of Government Affairs and Legal Resources, met with Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL). Congressman Buchanan is a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and one of three members who has announced their intention to run for Chair of the Committee should Republicans gain control of the House after the November elections. The meeting focused on the important role of philanthropy in our society and the policy issues important to the sector, including expanding the charitable deduction.

Values-Aligned Philanthropy: Corporations Take a Stand

On October 25, join the Council on Foundations as we partner with the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals to discuss why and how corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility programs are acting to prevent the funding of hate and extremism. We will learn more about this issue and why it is urgent, and hear from corporations who are taking action to make a difference.

2022 Public Policy Summit: Council Members Register for Free!

Join us for our annual Public Policy Summit on November 15-16—just one week after the midterm elections. We will come together as a virtual community to explore philanthropy’s role as a bridge-builder. Gain an insider’s view of how the midterm elections reshape the political landscape for philanthropy and learn how foundations can build common ground to advance the greater good, together. Registration is free for Council members and costs $229 for nonmembers before October 31. 

Leading Locally 2023: The Power of Place-Based and Community Philanthropy

We're thrilled to let you know that in June 2023, we're hosting Leading Locally: The Power of Place-Based and Community Philanthropy in Denver, in partnership with AdNet, CEONet, CommA, Philanthropy Colorado, and ProNet. This is an event for all funders who care about place: community foundations, women's foundations, giving circles, health legacy foundations — the list goes on. Registration will open in mid-November.

Happening on the Hill

Senate Takes Procedural Vote on DISCLOSE Act

On Thursday, the Senate failed to advance the DISCLOSE Act (S. 4822), which would require super PACs and other groups to disclose donors who give $10,000 or more during an election cycle. Spending by so-called dark money groups has increased significantly since the Supreme Court’s 2010 holding in Citizens United v. FEC, which allowed incorporated entities and labor unions to spend unlimited amounts to promote or attack candidates. The 49-49 vote was along party lines with all Democrats voting for it and all Republicans voting against it. Read more in the Washington Post.

Elsewhere on the Hill

With government funding set to expire at the end of September and both the House and Senate in session next week, Congress will likely rush to pass a continuing resolution to maintain funding at current levels through mid-December.

Happening in the Executive Branch

Treasury Releases Reports on Digital Assets

Last Friday, pursuant to a March Executive Order by President Biden, the U.S. Department of Treasury released three reports outlining the opportunities and risks associated with digital assets. The reports include broad policy recommendations, including that the U.S. agencies should develop appropriate regulations and guidance, as needed, for consumers, investors, and businesses.

Department of Health and Human Services - Disaster Equity Plan Statement Now Available

The Administration on Children and Families (ACF) started its journey to develop the agency’s Equity Action commitments in 2021. On August 31, 2022, the agency’s Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR) issued its Disaster Equity Plan Statement that defines disaster equity and shares steps the agency has taken in response to include the creation of a toolkit for incorporating disaster equity into disaster response for survivors and has conducted a pilot training on disaster equity principles for HHS staff. Funders interested in providing input can send any suggestions or comments to

In the spirit of National Disaster Preparedness Month in September, funders should check out the Office of Community Services (OCS) Disasters Flexibilities Hub, which helps local communities and nonprofit providers navigate resources on disaster preparedness and response, including information about the flexibilities built into OCS’ block grant programs to support both disaster response and relief and recovery efforts.

Department of Transportation Office of Public Engagement

Funders can engage with DOT’s Office of Public Engagement can sign up for their regular updates on the Department’s activities of interest to stakeholders and strategic partners and learn when there are opportunities to engage with DOT initiatives.

Department of Education - Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver Deadline Looming

The Department continues to urge employees of public and tribal agencies and nonprofits who have been paying down their student loans to check out their eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program before the limited waiver now in place expires on October 31. Now through October 31, 2022, borrowers may be able to receive credit for student loan payments that previously did not qualify for PSLF. Funders should share the information with grantees, partners, and their own staff. For the details on eligibility, consult the fact sheet.

Happening in the States

Tracking ARPA Fund Investments

State and local governments continue to dedicate portions of their American Rescue Plan Act allocations to the work and needs of residents and charitable organizations in their communities.

Food Security: In Colorado, a county board of commissioners approved $1.7 million for the Jefferson County Food System Grant. $100,000 will be administered as technical assistance contracts to help grantees. The goal of the grant is to “foster a local food system that ensures equitable access to nutritious, locally produced food.” Earlier in September, Franklin County, Ohio, provided the Mid-Ohio Food Collective an additional $2.5 million in ARPA funds through a unanimous resolution in response to the increase in visits to food pantries in the County. The nonprofit’s CEO estimates that Franklin County has seen a 40 percent increase in visits compared to 2020, and the increased resources will help the organization work under the pressures of inflation and supply chain issues.

Homelessness & Housing: In Texas, Austin’s Homeless Strategy Division and Innovation Office announced the 21 nonprofit recipients of the city’s Organizational Capacity Building Initiative. The designated entities will receive technical assistance and grants of up to $45,000 to “support and increase the capacity of service provers in Austin’s Homelessness Response System.” Grantees were selected based on an evaluation that included a panel of community advocates and people with lived experience of homelessness as part of the Initiative’s community-informed approach. The initiative aims to build pathways for organizations to access government funding, expand services, improve equity, and integrate previously excluded organizations into the system.


Learn more about the role of philanthropy in promoting effective ARPA investments by viewing the recording of a recent Council webinar, ARPA and Philanthropy: Seizing the Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity.


Trend Spotting: Employment Policies

Paid Sick Leave: On July 1, New Mexico’s paid sick leave law went into effect, requiring private employers of all sizes, including nonprofits, to allow their workers to accrue and use one hour of paid sick time for every thirty hours worked. The law applies to full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers. The state joined the growing list of cities, counties, and states with paid sick leave requirements, with Colorado and Virginia also enacting similar laws during the pandemic


Student Loan Relief: This month, New York enacted a law that expands and simplifies access to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program for public service workers in the state. Public service employers, including charitable nonprofits, will be permitted to certify employment and share necessary data with the U.S. Department of Education to streamline processing for workers. The new law requires public service employers to provide annual notice of renewal and a copy of the certification form for certain workers. The law further expands the definition of “full-time” to at least an average of 30 hours per week for the purposes of public service, which clarifies and allows more borrowers to access the program. A bill awaiting California Governor Newsom’s signature would establish the Golden State Social Opportunities Program to provide grants to certain social work, therapy, or psychology students who commit to working at an eligible nonprofit in California for their required post-degree hours.

Upcoming Events

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Please feel free to reach out to any of us on the Government Relations Team with comments or concerns, or to share an issue, article, event, or op-ed you would like to see covered in a future Washington Snapshot.

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