Tag Archives: charitable giving

Statement on Governor Bevin’s Budget Proposal

Kentucky Nonprofit Network Executive Director/CEO Danielle Clore issued the following statement in response to the release of Governor Bevin’s budget proposal:

Nonprofit organizations are at risk, which means Kentuckians are at risk.

In his budget proposal, Governor Matt Bevin recommends investments to combat Kentucky’s opioid crisis, improve child protection and the foster care system and other programs, which would be important steps to building a stronger Kentucky. He also proposes budget cuts of 6.25 percent and the elimination of 70 programs, which will result in more Kentuckians turning to charitable nonprofits for assistance. Combine that with further significant budget cuts coming from the federal level and the projected loss of millions of dollars in charitable contributions as a result of the new federal tax law. Add on new demands on nonprofits to accommodate, manage and verify service hours for thousands of Kentuckians needing to meet new requirements for Kentucky HEALTH eligibility, the 1115 Medicaid waiver approved last week. This all has the makings of a perfect storm bearing down on the nonprofits that serve every community from Paducah to Pikeville.

When nonprofit organizations face these competing forces of increased demand and decreased resources, that perfect storm hurts the most vulnerable Kentuckians who rely on nonprofits for vital services. Left in the wake of the storm are reduced service hours and waitlists. And that perfect storm could force some nonprofits to close their doors, leaving our friends, families, and neighbors without meals, adequate shelter, health services, crisis counseling, job training, quality child care, educational opportunities and other assistance.

We know that Governor Bevin shares the commitment of nonprofits organizations to a quality of life in Kentucky that makes our Commonwealth an attractive place for businesses to set up shop. Quality of life is what nonprofits do. It’s why we exist. We know that investments in education, health care, workforce development, the environment and the arts build a better economy that is critical to creating vibrant communities that bring jobs to Kentucky. Accounting for nine percent of Kentucky’s wages and employing over nine percent of our state’s workforce, nonprofit organizations are also an economic engine vital to the kind of Commonwealth Governor Bevin says he envisions.

Kentucky Nonprofit Network hopes to work with the Bevin Administration to ensure that Kentuckians seeking to meet the new Kentucky HEALTH eligibility requirements and the nonprofits that welcome them will both benefit. To do this, we must work together to make certain those organizations have the capacity and support to effectively accommodate the individuals who must satisfy community engagement requirements to receive basic health care.

We call on the Governor and members of the General Assembly to take a balanced approach to getting Kentucky’s fiscal house in order. Kentucky cannot cut its way to prosperity. We agree that new revenue is essential and urge tax modernization sooner rather than later.

Nonprofits are committed partners and proven problem-solvers. Let’s work together to create a better future for all Kentuckians.


Kentucky Nonprofit Network (KNN) is Kentucky’s state association of nonprofits. Founded in 2002, KNN provides quality education, sharing of best practices and resources, time and money-saving member benefits and a unified public policy voice to advance Kentucky’s nonprofit community because nonprofits are essential to vibrant communities.

Contact: Danielle Clore | c: 859.396.7024 | danielle@kynonprofits.org | http://www.kynonprofits.org


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Advocacy is no longer optional

To our members – advocacy is no longer optional…

KNN has put out plenty of “calls to action” before.  We’ve asked you to join us at Kentucky Nonprofit Day at the Capitol.  We’ve asked you to email and call legislators and government officials to request support or voice opposition to legislation or policies that impacted the sector.  We’ve often urged (and sometimes begged) you to get engaged and form relationships with legislators so that, when the time comes, the sector won’t be “asking strangers for a favor.”  We’ve created tools to help you easily educate local, state and federal officials on the economic importance of the sector, as well as provided talking points on our efforts to streamline nonprofit contracts with government and update the laws governing nonprofits in Kentucky.

But my email to you today, this call to action, is different.  Why?  Because advocacy is no longer optional. Why? Here’s a short list (though not exhaustive) of issues your state association is closely monitoring:  

Efforts to Politicize Nonprofits

KNN is opposed to the repeal of the Johnson Amendment for a number of reasons (see some outlined in the articles below) – primarily because we believe remaining nonpartisan is vital to the work of nonprofits.  There’s long been confusion about what nonprofits can and cannot do with regard to lobbying and election activity.  Essentially, nonprofits (501 c 3 organizations) can (and should) take positions on issues and legislation, but cannot endorse specific candidates.  Politicians pushing nonprofits for endorsements would put nonprofits in a position that would ultimately put our missions at risk. Certainly, some of our members (some of whom are churches) may disagree, they are ready to jump in to electioneering.  But this is about more than the pulpit.  Read more on this issue…

Threats to the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction and Other Unknowns of Tax Reform

There are few things that unite nonprofits more than protection of our tax-exempt status and the charitable giving tax deduction.  As the federal tax reform process is expected to begin in the next few weeks, its predicted that tax reform plans are likely to reduce individual and corporate tax rates, cut down on the number of tax brackets, increase the standard deduction, and repeal the federal estate tax. Kentucky is expected to take up tax reform in a special legislative session.  Incentives for charitable giving will be a major topic of both discussions – proposals range from removing the deduction entirely to expanding it.  KNN supports policies that encourages charitable giving to invest in the work of nonprofits.  Read more…

Early Discussion on Federal Spending Cuts 

The federal spending plan for the remainder of this fiscal year is unclear, but details are emerging for budget proposals for FY 2018 beginning on October 1. Administration officials have suggested that the President will seek to reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years, with most of the spending cuts coming from domestic programs.  Many of the spending cuts being considered are troubling to nonprofits (and communities), including the possibility of eliminating the Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women Grants, abolishing the Legal Services Corporation, reducing funding for DOJ’s Civil Rights division, privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and eliminating both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

A steep reduction in domestic spending would have significant implications for Kentucky’s budget, since a large portion of the state’s spending comes from federal appropriations and block grants. Of course, KNN will keep you posted as proposals become public.

So, what am I asking you to do?

  1. Get informed.  Read up on the issues mentioned above; know your state legislators and members of Congress – if you haven’t already, know how to contact them and the Governor; check out KNN’s 2017 public policy agenda and legislative priorities.
  2. Get engaged. Secure support of your board of directors to clarify your organization’s own public policy priorities, as well as those of the sector; register to stand with the sector on February 14 at Kentucky Nonprofit Day at the Capitol.
  3. Get others on board. Please help us strengthen the sector’s unified voice.  Reach out to a colleague of yours and ask them to stand with us – to become a KNN member, to attend Kentucky Nonprofit Day at the Capitol or both!

And if you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, you are not alone.  I urge you to join me in taking deliberate steps to take care of yourself and support your team during these uncertain times.  To stop the unending (and often upsetting) distractions throughout the work day, I tried avoiding social media and news until the end of my day.  Well, then I couldn’t sleep.  I certainly don’t have the right answer yet, but here are a few resources on staying focused and avoiding “psychological devastation in your newsfeed.”

I’m grateful we have each other.  You need us – KNN is here as your state association, to look out for the sector’s collective best interests and keep you informed.  And we need you – we can’t do this work without you.  What you are seeing and experiencing on the front lines is important – please, let us hear from you.

In summary, I know your organization has its own priorities and these may or may not include legislative or public policy priorities.  I also know you are busy and likely struggling with limited resources.  I get it – I truly do.  But make no mistake about it – the sector’s priorities must now be your priorities too.  Let’s stand together in Kentucky and with nonprofits across the nation to keep pushing ahead, to let our voice be heard and to take advantage of this critical opportunity to educate policy makers and the public on vital role and importance of the nonprofit sector.

Advocacy is no longer optional.  



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