Public Policy Updates & Resources

FOTH2017 Capitol Picture
Philanthropy West Virginia advocating for Effective Policies to advance Philanthropy & Nonprofits:

In light of recent developments in Congress, Philanthropy West Virginia is providing updates to our members on the policy proposals impacting charitable giving for nonprofits and foundation grantmaking.  The current proposals before the U.S. Congress are identified to have a major impact on charitable giving, nonprofits, and foundations in our state.  Current proposals include:

  • Reducing the itemized charitable deduction for only 5% of Americans being able to access it(U.S. House & Senate versions both)
  • Simplifying the excise tax on private foundations to 1.4%(U.S. House version only)
  • Imposes new reporting requirements on the sponsoring organizations of Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), such as community foundations. The House bill requires such organizations to annually disclose their policies on inactive DAFs as well as the average amount of grants made from their DAFs.(U.S. House version only) 
  • Johnson Amendment impacts: the U.S. House bill creates a special exception by permitting Section 501(c)(3) organizations to make political statements in the ordinary course of business.It modifies the existing political campaign prohibition on Section 501(c)(3) organizations by providing that such organizations will not fail to be treated as organized and operated exclusively for Section 501(c)(3) purposes or deemed to have participated in a political campaign solely because of the content of any statement which is made in the ordinary course of the organization’s activities and results in the organization incurring not more than de minimis incremental expenses. (U.S. Senate removes this provision protecting the Johnson Amendment)

Check out resources providing full summaries and updated information on the proposals in Congress below:

  • National Law Review Article “Tax Reform & Nonprofits: The Devil’s in the Details” on 11/10/2017 provides a condensed overview of the impacts by U.S. House and U.S. Senator proposals. Access it by CLICKING HERE!
  • The U.S. Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation Report released on 11/07/2017 confirms other research that increasing the standard deduction while keeping the charitable deduction as is, as H.R. 1 proposes, will result in far less charitable giving to American communities. Under current law, JCT estimates that 40.7 million taxpayers who itemize will deduct charitable contributions totaling $241.1 billion in 2018. If H.R. 1 is enacted, JCT finds that only 9.4 million taxpayers who itemize will deduct charitable contributions totaling $146.3 billion in 2018. Without changes, H.R. 1 reduces the amount of charitable gifts that taxpayers deduct by nearly $100 billion.  You can access the report by CLICKING HERE! 
  • Review of the Chairman’s Marks in the U.S. Senate on the Proposed Legislation can be accessed by CLICKING HERE! 

We invite our members to contact the West Virginia’s congressional delegation in the U.S. House (clicking here) and U.S. Senate (clicking here)  with your concerns on the legislative proposals.

Philanthropy WV’s statement on the Universal Charitable Deduction can be reviewed and shared by CLICKING HERE! 

For talking points to contact WV’s U.S. Senators and your House of Representatives’ member, CLICK HERE!

(Private foundations: Please refer to this COF statement on the self-defense exception allowing lobbying for the universal charitable deduction but note that you can’t encourage your grantees or others to do so.) 

Updated 11/13/2017


Philanthropy West Virginia is working to communicate the importance of preserving the charitable deduction for West Virginia’s nonprofit organizations and foundations especially for the citizens and communities that we collectively serve. Included below are copies of sample letters/emails to write your members of Congress, Philanthropy West Virginia WV Charitable Giving Report, and additional resources  for you to share the importance of the charitable deduction with our members of Congress.  Please check this webpage for updates for upcoming meetings, teleconferences, and call to action alerts.

CLICK HERE for a Sample Letter/Email to Write Your Member of Congress

CLICK HERE for Philanthropy WV’s Charitable Giving in West Virginia Report

CLICK HERE for the Charitable Giving Coalition’s Frequently Asked Questions Sheet

CLICK HERE for the contact information for West Virginia’s Congressional Delegation

CLICK HERE for the Notes from the 12-18-2012 Philanthropy WV & WVNPA hosted Teleconference on the Charitable Deduction

CLICK HERE for Statement from Council on Foundations’ for Private Foundation participation on Charitable Deduction discussions

Among the goals in Philanthropy West Virginia Leading: Philanthropy WV members are served by our leading and collective voice.  To advance this goal, Philanthropy WV works to:

  1. Cultivate relationships with stakeholders in state and federal government to provide decision making expertise and be a “go to” resource of policy makers
  2. Serve as the collective voice for our members that educates and advocates on the local, state and federal levels for initiatives, programs, policy, legislation, etc that advances the philanthropic sector in West Virginia

Back in 2012, Philanthropy West Virginia started to undertake policy engagement more actively than in the past.  Our Board of Directors has determined that, in selected instances, Philanthropy WV’s members and the broader nonprofit community may be best served by taking a public position on a policy matter, including legislation or regulations proposed at the city, county, state or federal level. Philanthropy WV’s goal is to respond nimbly and flexibly when its involvement can help promote a vibrant and healthy philanthropic and nonprofit sector for the Mountain State.

As the statewide network that represents West Virginia’s philanthropic community, Philanthropy WV is actively working with our local, state, and federal government represents. This work is being done by our Public Policy Committee.

Upcoming Events:

2017 Public Policy Institute

2017 Foundations On The Hill