Our Policy Positions

Philanthropy Northwest advocates on behalf of the region’s philanthropic sector and helps our members become more effective in matters of public policy, advocacy and civic engagement. In order to promote a strong philanthropic sector which supports vibrant, equitable and inclusive communities in our region, Philanthropy Northwest will work to: 

  1. Support the role of foundations as stewards of resources for the public good and the health and vitality of communities and citizens.
  2. Promote mutual understanding between philanthropy and government regarding our individual and shared roles in advancing the public good.
  3. Promote civic engagement to enable the nonprofit and philanthropic community to fulfill its role in strengthening communities and sustaining a thriving democracy.
  4. Promote collaborative action among philanthropic organizations and between governments and philanthropy.
  5. Sustain and promote a tax and regulatory system that encourages a responsible, effective, and independent philanthropic and vibrant nonprofit sector.
  6. Encourage charitable giving and volunteerism.

Philanthropy Northwest Policy Positions

Johnson Amendment: We support the Johnson Amendment, the law prohibiting 501(c)(3) charitable organizations from endorsing, opposing or contributing to political candidates and engaging in partisan campaign activities. Our statement urging lawmakers to protect the Johnson Amendment.

Charitable Giving: We support tax policy that encourages giving, through a charitable contribution deduction or through other means that sustain or enhance the amount that Americans give to charities. Our letter in support of the IRA charitable rollover.

Excise Tax: We support simplification of the private foundation excise tax on net investment income to a flat rate.

Census: We support a robust and accurate census count, and actively call upon state and federal governments to fully fund the 2020 Census. We also encourage the philanthropic sector to assume an advocacy role in preparing Northwest communities for the census.

Family Separation: We believe the family separation crisis at our border is an affront to the values of an equitable and just society, in which all people are treated with decency, respect, compassion and the fundamental right to due process.  

CHARITY Act: We support the Charities Helping Americans Regularly Throughout the Year (CHARITY) Act, which would make the private foundation excise tax a flat one percent rate and allow individual retirement account contributions to donor-advised funds. For its provision that requires 990s to be filed electronically, we prefer an exemption for small organizations. Through January 31, 2020, Philanthropy Northwest members are invited to contact policy@philanthropynw.org to join our sign-on letter to members of Congress.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: We support policies that address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and call upon philanthropy and all levels of government to prioritize this issue.

Philanthropy Northwest Policy Letters

We engage in advocacy to support select issues that impact philanthropy nationally and in our six-state region. Letters we have written to policymakers: