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Policy & Advocacy

The Georgia Center for Nonprofits is an active sector leader in local, state, and federal policy matters. Collating with organizations and initiatives, GCN promotes the wellbeing of nonprofits and their benefactors statewide. Nonprofits are a key mechanism through which citizens activate their leadership potential—as donors, volunteers and as professionals. That requires us, as nonprofit leaders and board members, to enlarge our dialogue and embrace advocacy and policy as a critical part of our work and leadership. When we don’t advocate, we diminish the scale of our impact. 

CALL TO ACTION: Your action needed on Johnson Amendment

Feb. 20, 2018 - Quickly-moving policy developments in the Georgia Senate's Finance Committee could help end federal enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, the federal law governing the nonpartisan nature of nonprofits and faith institutions. The resolution in question may be considered as soon as this week. Will you stand with us against it? Our Federal Issues Coalition has prepared a letter to our state senators, which we’d like you to review and sign by no later than this Friday, Feb. 23. Read more

POLICY BRIEF: Tax reform and the nonprofit sector

Dec. 1, 2017 - Here’s GCN’s look at the House tax reform plan (HR 1) and the Senate tax reform plan in terms of issues affecting the nonprofit sector, with the positions we’re advocating for the good of our work and the communities they benefit. Read more

CALL TO ACTION: Speak up about Senate Tax Reform Bill

Dec. 1, 2017 - In less than 48 hours – likely as soon as this afternoon – the Senate will vote on a tax reform bill that would cripple charities’ ability to serve their communities. As it stands today, the Senate bill delivers tax cuts to corporations by raising taxes on nonprofits and low- and middle-income families. Here are the reasons you should contact Senators TODAY by phone and Twitter to tell them to oppose this bill. Learn more and take action now

CALL TO ACTION: Healthcare Reconciliation

June 27, 2017 - As soon as this week, we expect a vote by the U.S. Senate on legislation to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, more than ever, we as sector leaders need to stand up and make our voices heard about the potentially devastating impact that passage of this proposed legislation will have on our constituents and our state. We urge you to reach out to our Georgia Senators and local elected officials immediately, employing both mission-focused and economic arguments to exert pressure while this bill is still being debated. Learn more and take action now

INTRODUCING: the Nonprofit Federal Issues Coalition

May 12, 2017 - In the face of current policy-making practice, the only way to ensure our common cause is through joint leadership and an imperative to defend our shared interests. For that reason, GCN is proud to introduce our new Nonprofit Federal Issues Coalition, bringing the state’s nonprofit leadership together to focus on policy issues and organize cooperative, strategic responses. Learn all about it and sign up your organization

BRIEF: How the proposed federal budget may affect Georgia nonprofits

Mar. 16, 2017 - President Trump’s first budget was released yesterday and analysis shows deep cuts to many programs that fund nonprofit activities. Here is a breakdown of some of the President’s proposed budget cuts by department (courtesy of the Washington Post) along with GCN’s quick analysis of the effects in Georgia. Additionally, in an effort to coordinate a response from our state relative to these budget cuts, GCN is convening a Nonprofit Federal Issues Coalition. Sign up to be included, receive meeting and call-in information

CALL TO ACTION: Gerrymandering Bill

Mar. 3, 2017 - We are requesting your immediate action (March 3) on House Bill 515, introduced this week, that would change the geographic compositions of a number of Georgia districts to protect incumbent elections, also known as gerrymandering. The bill is scheduled for a vote today. Time is of the essence. Here's what you can do to help protect nonprofits today

ANNOUNCING: GCN Policy Platform 

Jan. 14, 2017 - GCN has released a Policy Platform, outlining our top priorities as an advocate is to identify and promote policies that support and advance the nonprofit sector, and list of top priorities for GCN to serve as an advocate is to identify and promote policies that support and advance the nonprofit sector. Read GCN's Policy Platform and read President and CEO Karen Beavor's statement

POLICY ALERT: Injunction on FLSA Overtime Rules

Nov. 22, 2016 - A federal district court in Texas granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing and enforcing its recently revised regulations on the white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that was set to take effect on Dec. 1. This will mean a substantial increase to the threshold at which eligible employees, regardless of duties, must be paid overtime. GCN is dedicated to monitoring developments and providing the latest news and resources to assist nonprofit employers with compliance.

POLICY ALERT: FLSA Overtime Final Rule announced 

May 18, 2016 - The long-awaited update to the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been released. As expected, there is a substantial increase to the threshold at which eligible employees, regardless of duties, must be paid overtime. This means that most non-exempt organizations will need to pay overtime to employees making less than $47,476 annually for any hours worked in excess of 40 per week. GCN is dedicated to providing resources to the nonprofit community to assist employers with compliance with this rule, beginning December 1, 2016.  Learn more

POLICY ALERT: Proposed changes to FLSA overtime regulations pose
potentially massive financial impact to Georgia nonprofits

August 2015 - The U.S Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed changes to rules that govern overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In effect, the proposals would significantly increase the number of employees eligible for overtime pay by increasing the exemption threshold for “white collar” to $50,440 per year. While GCN appreciates the need to ensure that the regulations governing overtime protections keep pace with the evolving workplace and economy, we are very concerned that the DOL’s proposed rule will further exacerbate an already complicated set of regulations for employers and employees. Read GCN's position and advocacy on the issue

REPORTS: Georgia General Assembly Legislative Outcomes

Stan Jones and Helen Sloat of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough provide insights on the legislative action each year that affects the Georgia nonprofit sector. 

2015 Report
2014 Report
2013 Report
2012 Report

POLICY ALERT: Georgia Competitiveness Initiative

On September 9, 2013, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and GCN gave public testimony before the Governor-appointed Georgia Competitiveness task force, providing economic justification for vital tax exemptions that were phased out in 2010. Despite being nearly unanimously passed in the 2013 General Assembly, the provisions were vetoed and deferred to the Georgia Competitiveness Initiative. The task force will provide policy recommendations on this ongoing issue through the 2014 General Assembly. Read a summary of the action and read our public testimony

POLICY ALERT: Charitable Giving Tax Deduction

GCN worked with Independent Sector and a coalition of organizations across the country to rally our sector together to protect charitable giving. Proposals to cap itemized deductions, including the charitable deduction – whether a dollar limit or percentage – were seriously being discussed among Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle as a source of revenue for a short-term ‘fiscal bridge’ into 2013. Numerous studies suggest that overall giving would decline if these proposals come to fruition.

A Letter from Karen Beavor, GCN's President & CEO
Send a letter to your lawmakers via Independent Sector

POLICY ALERT: Nonprofit Property Tax

Due to a 2009 Court decision regarding GCN member Nuçi’s Space in Athens, Georgia, changes to the definition of "organizations of purely public charity" could have had drastic effects on many nonprofits' ability to receive these tax exemptions. GCN played an active role in successfully advocating to preserve the exemption.

Nuçi's Space v. Athens-Clarke County Board of Tax Assessors