TAKE ACTION! Congress is politicizing nonprofits – We need five minutes of your time to stop them.
Last week, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved a funding bill that included an extraneous provision (rider) that essentially blocks enforcement of the Johnson Amendment against houses of worship and their auxiliary organizations. Certain charitable nonprofits would be able to endorse candidates for public office and divert charitable assets to political campaigns if a rider to a federal funding bill is approved by Congress in the coming weeks.
For 60+ years, the Johnson Amendment has prevented 501(c)(3) organizations from engaging in partisan, election-related activities and is seen by most in the nonprofit community as a valuable protection that keeps charitable nonprofits, religious institutions, and foundations focused on their missions rather than responding to outside pressures to divert their time, money, and other resources to engage in partisan electioneering. The broad nonprofit community opposes changes to the Johnson Amendment, as expressed by nearly one hundred religious denominations and organizations, more than 3,000 religious leaders, 89 percent of evangelical pastors, more than 5,000 charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations, and 72 percent of American voters.
The House of Representatives is expected to consider the appropriations bill this month and other legislation harmful to the Johnson Amendment and nonprofit nonpartisanship is pending in the Senate and House. Now is the time to act.
TAKE ACTION! Keep Nonprofits Nonpartisan.
As we noted in our February e-Newsletter, the US House of Representatives and US Senate have introduced legislation to repeal the ban on partisan activity by 501(c)(3) nonprofits. This legislation would, in effect, allow 501(c)(3) nonprofits to become political organizations, which would turn nonprofits into political operatives. We think that nonprofits do their best work because they are nonpartisan and repealing this requirement is a threat to our work and our sector.
Nonprofits are safe spaces in our communities, designed to be above the political fray. Being nonpartisan allows us to focus on solving problems, helping our neighbors, and enriching our communities. Nonpartisan credibility is critical to the ability of 501(c)(3) organizations to work with elected officials of all parties at the local, state, and federal levels to address community needs. Keeping this protection in place is essential to nonprofit missions.
Lawyers Alliance, NPCC File Suit Objecting to New State Donor Disclosure Law
On Monday March 6, 2017 Lawyers Alliance for New York and the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee (NPCC) filed a lawsuit against the New York State Attorney General’s office challenging a law that unnecessarily discourages contributions to nonprofit organizations. The Governor wants to require charitable nonprofits to disclose their donors just because they work with certain advocacy groups – even when that work has nothing to do with lobbying. Nonprofits must be transparent and accountable, but this law is a solution in search of a problem. It’s too broad, won’t encourage the transparency it seeks, and is bad for the nonprofit sector.
Overtime Regulations in New York State In Effect as of December 31, 2016
As we reported in New York Nonprofits' October Issue, federal overtime regulations are currently on hold while the U.S. District Court in Texas moves forward with the case. However, with three days' notice, on December 28, 2016, New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) finalized its own overtime rules, increasing salaries for administrative and executive work and the number of workers who will qualify for overtime pay.
New Overtime Regulations ON HOLD
As you may have heard, a federal Judge has temporarily blocked the implementation of the new Overtime Final Rule, originally set to begin on December 1, 2016. In this case, the Judge found that the Department of Labor exceeded its authority in adding a salary test to the existing duties test when determining eligibility for overtime. Unless there is an emergency appeal, nonprofits should expect that the Rule will not go into effect as originally scheduled; however it is expected that the Department of Labor will appeal and that this appeal will be decided in the coming weeks or months.
User Fee for 501(c)(3) Applications Lowered
Effective July 1st, 2016 the user fee to process FORM 1023-EZ (application for recognition of exemption under 501(c)(3) status) is lowered from $400 to $275.
Facts About the New Overtime Rule and What You Need To Know
President Obama and Secretary Perez announced that the Department of Labor’s final rule on overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act will automatically extend overtime pay eligibility to 4.2 million workers. The rule will entitle most salaried white collar workers earning less than $913 a week ($47,476 a year) to overtime pay.
Final D.O.L. Overtime Rule To Be Published May 18th
The U.S. Department of Labor has recently proposed regulatory changes that could dramatically expand the population of employees entitled to receive overtime pay.
OMB Guidance: Know your Rights
Each nonprofit needs to learn its rights and responsibilities under the Uniform Guidance and take positive steps to protect those rights. This document identifies the major changes in the Uniform Guidance related to cost allocation rules and payment of indirect costs.
HSC issues new report: Human Services Council’s New York Nonprofits in the Aftermath of FEGS: A Call to Action
Disclosures to Donors
NYS Assembly introduced bill A-3394 which would require charities disclose to donors in writing after donation as to how their donation was allocated – what portion went to administration and what to programs. This was introduced last session and didn’t move; it is being introduced again. Stay tuned for developments.
Updated July 21, 2017