Public Policy

Our Role 

From Washington, D.C. to Charleston, West Virginia, Philanthropy West Virginia advocates for effective government that advances the work of philanthropy and nonprofits in serving West Virginia’s citizens. 

Our public policy work is essential to supporting our network members and strengthening and growing philanthropic and nonprofit work in West Virginia. Over the past several years, Philanthropy West Virginia has strengthened our public policy processes and engagement, guided by the direction of our Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors, and in partnership with our policy partners at United Philanthropy Forum.These activities and outcomes help us deliver on two of our strategic priorities:

  • To increase philanthropic awareness in West Virginia; and
  • To increase impact through our members’ work.

Our Guiding Principles

Building Stronger Communities 

Philanthropy WV recognizes that lasting community change requires partnerships with government and non-governmental leaders. When we collaborate, we can leverage our collective resources to better understand complex problems and more effectively scale promising solutions. 

Building Stronger Philanthropy

We are committed to supporting a strong philanthropic sector at the state and federal levels. We do this by educating policymakers about the impact of our work and where philanthropic priorities intersect with the priorities of government. 

Additionally, we support public policies that promote the effective management of charitable resources, transparent and ethical conduct and reasonable access to information. Philanthropy Ohio encourages voluntary efforts of self-regulation within the sector and supports appropriate external enforcement agencies for nonprofit compliance and oversight. 

Our work related to tax reform envisions a future where the federal and state tax codes are an effective and appropriate tool that strengthens the tradition of Americans helping their neighbors in need; fosters the growth and sustainability of civil society’s nonprofit institutions; promotes communities using local resources to address local issues; and helps to build the economic security of all Americans.

Our Priorities

Guided by our public policy goals, the Philanthropy West Virginia Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors annually develop and approve a Public Policy Agenda to direct our work around specific priorities and emerging issues in the sector. You can review our Public Policy Agenda below.

State

Neighborhood Investment Program

Philanthropy West Virginia is collaborating with multiple partners for the renewal and expansion of the WV Neighborhood Investment Program for 2025. 

The Neighborhood Investment Program (NIP) was established in West Virginia in 1996 to encourage charitable giving to local nonprofits.  The program allows 501(c)3 organizations to apply for tax credit vouchers which they then distribute to businesses and individuals who contribute to their organization.  By donating to approved NIP organizations, contributors can support their communities while earning credits to reduce certain West Virginia taxes. Since this program’s creation, there has been a marked increase in itemized charitable giving in the state.

Nonprofit Support Policy Statement

Philanthropy West Virginia supports public policy that supports and strengthens nonprofit organizations in our state. We will use our voice, in partnership with key partners such as the West Virginia Nonprofit Associaiton, to lift up nonprofit needs and identify funding and policy opportunities to support the sector. As valued business entities and critical service providers, Iowa’s success depends on a strong nonprofit infrastructure.

Federal

Promotion of Charitable Giving

Philanthropy WV supports income tax credits, deductions and other vehicles that provide an incentive for increased charitable giving.

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs)

Philanthropy WV promotes the availability of donor advised funds as a viable charitable giving vehicle (with operating policies that are consistent with National Standards for Community Foundations). We support legislative reforms for DAFs that help to promote ethical and accountable management of the charitable resources in these funds for the public good, without compromising the privacy of the donor, and oppose legislative reforms that inhibit or diminish the reasonable growth and effectiveness of donor-advised funds.

Private Foundation Payout

Philanthropy WV supports an appropriate payout level for private foundation distributions that allows for the availability of funds for distribution in perpetuity.

Protection of Endowments

Philanthropy WV works with policymakers to support current laws protecting and promoting endowments within the philanthropic sector. 

Postsecondary / Reverse Scholarships (Come Home Awards)

Philanthropy WV supports public policies that support communities in their efforts to recruit and retain a talented workforce.

Tax Reform

Our efforts focus on educating federal policymakers and advocating for policies that:

  • Allow the greatest flexibility in how Americans use their assets to make charitable donations, with donors having a broad choice of assets from which to make charitable donations;
  • Treat charitable giving equitably for individuals at every income level, with donations of cash and property to public charities and private foundations deductible at the same rate;
  • Reduce complexity, as long as simplification does not adversely impact charitable giving and other principles;
  • Provide for a stable and certain climate conducive to charitable giving; and
  • Ensure an appropriate level of regulation for charitable organizations.

Current Public Policy Committee Members

  • Billy Atkins, Partner, Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love
  • Brock Malcolm, Board of Directors, United Way of Harrison & Doddridge Counties
  • David Moran, Board President, Tucker Community Foundation, Chair of Public Policy Committee
  • Tres Ross, Executive Director, Ross Foundation

How to Engage

Philanthropy WV members are invited to participate in Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) each spring, which is presented by United Philanthropy Forum, the Council on Foundations, and the Independent Sector. During FOTH, participants engage in public policy programming and  we also meet with each of West Virginia’s members of Congress.

If you are interested in learning more, joining the Public Policy Committee or attending an event, please contact us at 304-517-1450. 

Resources