Impact of the elections on philanthropic sector
September 7th, 2008On September 24th, I am participating on a panel discussion as part of Nonprofit Day 2008 sponsored, hosted and organized by the Michigan Nonprofit Association. The discussion revolves around the potential impact of the elections on nonprofits. Here's how the session is described in the program:
Election 2008 - What Will Happen to Michigan Nonprofits and the Issues we Support?
This isn't your average pundit debate predicting the outcome of the election. Instead, this session is tailored for the nonprofit community to highlight how our issues, including the state budget, recruitment of talent, health care and economic development, will fare during the heat of the election season and in the new year. Experts on these issues and the political environment will share their thoughts for the future.
Moderator: Craig Ruff, Public Sector Consultants. Panelists: Don Gilmer, former House Appropriations Chair and former State Budget Director; Jeannine La Prad, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce; John "Joe" Schwarz, former member of Congress and former Michigan State Senator; and Diana Sieger, Grand Rapids Community Foundation.
I'm pleased to be teamed up with such dynamic leaders! I am preparing key questions for discussion relating to the areas on which the team wishes me to focus: "Foundations and non profits have many public policy topics (e.g., health care, the arts, environment/recreation, youth, and safety) as concerns. Feel free to comment on how federal and state elections might influence those topics, but also feel free to share your "what ifs" on federal and state tax, regulatory, and other policies on foundations and non profit organizations. Are there issues/threats/opportunities on the horizon in D.C. and/or Lansing that November elections' results could influence?"
There is no secret that Congress over the past few years has had an interest in the world of foundations, donor advised funds and nonprofits. Whether the Presidential elections will have an impact on that focus remains to be seen. I'd say that the local and state elections may have a more immediate impact on our sector but I would also say that all involved in the philanthropic/nonprofit sector should pay attention and examine the issues. This isn't a discussion on party politics but it is a discussion on what we envision for the sector and whether it matters who is in office or not.