Thursday, March 23, 2017

Nonprofit Advocacy Matters | March 20, 2017

Still Time to Take Action
Help Keep Politics Out of Charitable Nonprofits
A core principle of charitable nonprofits – nonpartisanship – is under attackAct Nowin Washington, DC, and all who are concerned about the wellbeing and effectiveness of the nonprofit community are asked to take two minutes to express support for a protection that has defined the sector for generations. Sign the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship now!

Bills pending in Congress would repeal or significantly weaken the current law’s longstanding protections by inviting charitable and philanthropic organizations to endorse or oppose candidates for elected office and divert some of their assets away from their missions to instead support partisan campaigns. This legislation would subject charitable nonprofits and foundations to demands for political endorsements and campaign contributions (diverting donors' money away from mission-related work to benefit politicians) and damage public trust in the work of nonprofits. Further, it’s completely unnecessary. Nonprofits - and their individual staff, board members, and volunteers - already have many legal avenues to freely express their views on a wide range of public policy issues through existing laws that allow for advocacy of our missions to policymakers.

We urge charitable nonprofits, private foundations, religious groups, and for-profit supporters to sign the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship that 2,000+ organizations from coast to coast already have signed. Learn more by going to and Protecting Nonprofit Nonpartisanship

Health Insurance Repeal and Replacement Advancing in the House
On March 6, Speaker Ryan and House Republican leaders unveiled theAmerican Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”). The bill has been approved by three House committees, and the full House could vote on it by the end of this week. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion and increase the number of uninsured people to an estimated 24 million by 2026. President Trump has endorsed the legislation, but many House Republicans have expressed concerns while several GOP Senators have opposed the bill from the beginning.

Some of the key issues of the AHCA that would potentially affect nonprofits include:
  • Caps on Medicaid: The AHCA would establish a limit on the amount the federal government reimburses the states, shifting from a percentage of costs incurred to a lower fixed amount paid per Medicaid recipient. Over time, this would shift more of the funding burden onto each state, with vastly different health care for Americans depending on where they live.
  • End of Medicaid Expansion: Under the AHCA no new enrollment would be permitted beginning in 2020. Currently 32 states and DC have opted for Medicaid expansion. The CBO projects that under the legislation no new states would expand and some of the expansion states would no longer offer the additional insurance coverage. Coupled with a greater share of the enrollees’ costs, an estimated 5 million fewer people would be enrolled.
  • Establish Refundable Tax Credit: The legislation replaces insurance subsidies under the ACA with refundable tax credits ranging from $2,000 to $4,000. The credits would increase by age and phase out by income level. The CBO estimates that the new tax credits would be smaller than the premium subsidies under the current law. It further finds that because of the elimination of cost-sharing subsidies under the legislation, the share of the costs for medical services borne by lower-income individuals would increase and fewer would obtain coverage. Conversely, tax credits for higher earners would be larger than under the ACA.

President Proposes Spending Priorities for Congress to Consider
The White House released a preliminary budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins on October 1, that has been called “draconian” and “dead on arrival” by some in his own party. The budget proposal, which is essentially a request for funding by Congress (which has the “power of the purse” under the Constitution), seeks $54 billion in increased defense spending and calls for an equal level of spending cuts in domestic programs that often support the work of charitable nonprofits on behalf of governments in communities across the country. The President is asking Congress to cut the Department of Housing and Urban Development by 13 percent, the Department of Health and Human Services by 18 percent, the State Department by 28 percent, and the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent. The blueprint proposes to eliminate funding for several programs, including the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Legal Services Corporation; the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

The so-called “skinny budget” only contains top-line spending requests; the more detailed budget proposal that contains policy specifics, data tables, and itemized spending levels for all programs, is not expected until May. Congress must enact twelve spending bills by September 30 or pass a stopgap funding measure known as a "continuing resolution" (CR). The federal government is operating in the current FY 2017 fiscal year under a CR that expires on April 28, meaning that Congress must address immediate decisions on spending to keep the federal government open through September 30 before turning to the proposals President Trump published last week.

Federal FastView
  • Contributing Centennial Celebrated: A resolution celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Charitable Deduction was introduced in Congress on Friday by Representatives John Lewis (D-GA) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH). House Concurrent Resolution 34 provides a historical timeline of the deduction, enacted into the federal tax code in 1917, and highlights the benefits to the arts, humanities, religious institutions, education, human services, environment, health programs, and many other subsectors, as well as recognizing the empowerment and force of individual philanthropy. The resolution specifically “reaffirms the importance of encouraging rather than diminishing philanthropic services which respond to the needs of communities.”
  • Targeting Planned Parenthood: It has been widely publicized that the American Health Care Act pending in the House would completely defund Planned Parenthood for one year. The day after the AHCA was introduced, President Trump offered a deal to the nonprofit health provider: that if it stopped performing abortion services, the organization could maintain federal funding. Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, responded that “no federal funding goes towards abortion in the first place,” which is in fact the current law under the Hyde Amendment. Richards stated that the “defunding” of non-abortion services would “block millions of people” from access and preventative care. The Congressional Budget Office projects that 15 percent of people live in areas without health care clinics or have no medical practitioners who serve low-income populations.

More States Consider Minimum Wage Hikes
Several more states are considering minimum wage increases. A Nevada bill would raise the state’s minimum wage by $1.25 per hour until it reaches $15 per hour for employers that do not offer health insurance and $14 per hour for employers that do provide health insurance. A separate Nevada bill proposes a state constitutional amendment to increase the minimum wage to $9 per hour, and in 2022, an additional $.75 per hour per year until reaching $12 per hour. That proposal also calls for removing provisions authorizing an employer and employee to waive the minimum wage requirement in a collective bargaining agreement. New Mexico and North Carolina propose to increase pay from $7.50 per hour to $9.00 per hour over the next year, and $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour by 2022, respectively. An earlier North Carolina bill would have reached the higher rate one year faster.

This month, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously upheld a voter-approved measure raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry challenged the law, arguing in part that the state would be forced to spend more money on contracts, including services provided by charitable nonprofits. The court rejected the argument. Regardless, due to a voter initiative, employment costs will increase in Arizona, and nonprofits will likely need to seek philanthropic support to cover expenses not reimbursed by the governments. See the Open Letter from the California Association of Nonprofits for the role philanthropy can play in helping nonprofits transition to higher labor standards.

Property Tax Exemptions in the Courts
Courts in Michigan and New Jersey have temporarily stymied the trend to remove property tax exemptions from nonprofit entities. Upholding the tax-exempt status of a health care provider, the Michigan Tax Tribunal found in favor for nonprofit property tax exemption. The locality had rejected the nonprofit’s property tax exemption claiming that the organization was ineligible due to its high costs, low proportion of uninsured patients, and apparent growth-through-acquisition strategy. The Tax Tribunal rejected each of the rationales, which may dampen the efforts of other Michigan localities to seek new tax revenue from nonprofits. Similarly, the New Jersey Tax Court overturned a county board’s findings and upheld the tax exemption for religious and charitable use of properties under state law. Contrary to rulings from another New Jersey Tax Court judge, the court in the recent case concluded that “despite evidence indicating that religious activities on the subject church property had diminished … the church continued to make actual use of the property in furtherance of its religious purposes.”

Additional Taxes, Fees, PILOTs
  • Property Tax: Two bills in Connecticut are aimed at diverting resources of hospitals to fund local government operations. One bill would eliminate hospitals’ real property tax exemption and theoretically offset the hospitals’ liabilities under a new property tax scheme; a plan the hospitals do not believe will end in their favor. A separate measure would change the fixed-amount hospital tax to a levy charged every quarter, resulting in a substantial increase.
  • Property Tax: In a string of revenue bills, the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island proposes to tax certain nonprofit hospital and college properties. Parallel city-backed state legislation would remove property tax exemption for property not essential to the institution’s mission, identifying classrooms and hospital rooms as exempt but vacant lots, parking garages, and undeveloped property as taxable.
  • PILOTs: The Mayor of New Britain, Connecticut has a budget problem and is turning to local nonprofits for help. But in a region of the country where antagonism has been growing due to aggressive government demands and the occasional threats against longstanding property tax exemptions, the Mayor’s approach is unusual: she is asking politely. Mayor Erin Steward has sent letters to 30 nonprofit service providers thanking them for their work to improve the wellbeing of the local community. She lays out the budget challenges of the City, and then asks: “Any donation your organization is willing to make to the city of New Britain to offset any further tax increases on our residents and businesses would be greatly appreciated.”

Tax-Break Transparency Lacking in the Cities
Nonprofits facing demands from local governments to make payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) will be interested to learn that cities typically fail to disclose the value and beneficiaries of tax breaks they give to businesses for economic development purposes. New accounting rules require states and localities to disclose revenue loss due to tax holidays and incentives, yet access to the revenue data from cities is extremely limited, according to the organization Good Jobs First. Its new report, “Show Us the Subsidies,” considers a program to be transparent only if the data were available on a public webpage and included the recipient companies’ names. The study found that 50 of the largest local governments fail to disclose basic information needed for transparency, such as who was benefiting and the amounts paid or claimed for the benefit. Over half of the localities fail to disclose any basic information about any of their incentive programs.

New York Donor Disclosure Law Challenged
The newly revised New York advocacy disclosure law is unconstitutional and harmful to nonprofits, according to a law suit filed this month by the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York and the Lawyers Alliance for New York. The suit, filed against the New York State Attorney General, challenges the disclosure requirements under the law because they require 501(c)(3) nonprofits to report donations simply because the entity provided some assistance to 501(c)(4) entities. The disclosure is required even if the support is not connected to lobbying or political speech, the primary focus of the advocacy disclosure law. By challenging the statute, the parties are seeking to protect nonprofits from overbroad laws requiring nonprofits, especially advocacy organizations, technical assistance providers, and community foundations, from identifying donors whose contributions have no connection to lobbying activities.

Government-Nonprofit Contracting Update
  • Knowing When to Say When: Why would a nonprofit choose to give up $12 or $13 million of its $16 million budget? The reason for Catholic Charities of OmahaNebraska is to eliminate government grants and contracts. The charity arm of the Archdiocese of Omaha announced last year that it was getting out of addiction treatment, citing failure of governments to pay the full cost of services and government regulations, including a local ordinance that imposes employment standards contrary to the organization’s mission.
  • Audit Mandate Under Review in North Carolina: Every North Carolina nonprofit that performs services pursuant to state or local government grants or contracts would be required to have a full financial audit conducted at least once every four years, under legislation proposed this month. Under the bill, the Office of the State Auditor would direct the audits proposed under the bill and would be authorized to have nonprofits pay for the costs of audit work. Currently, nonprofits are required to get audits only if they receive at least $500,000 in state grant funds.

Making the Case for the NEA
The Trump budget proposal calls for elimination of numerous programs, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Supporters of the NEA are mobilizing to convince Congress to ignore the President’s suggestion to defund this vital program.

The American Alliance of Museums immediately emphasized that the NEA and other programs “play an essential role in helping museums make the arts and the humanities accessible to all Americans,” and vowed “to work with our allies to build on Congress’ tradition of strong bipartisan support for these agencies.”

The League of American Orchestras and others are calling on individuals and organizations to urge their U.S. Representative to sign onto the Congressional Arts Caucus letter in support of NEA funding. The League reassures and inspires its members by pointing out that leaders in Congress have voiced bipartisan support for the NEA, both in the past two years of funding proposals, and in public statements made in recent weeks.

Americans for the Arts helps arts advocates make the case by presenting the impact of the NEA in its Action Center:
  • “For more than 50 years, the NEA has expanded access to the arts for all Americans, awarding grants in every Congressional district throughout all 50 states and U.S. Territories as well as placing arts therapists in 12 military hospitals to help returning soldiers heal from traumatic brain injuries.”
  • “The NEA is also an economic powerhouse, generating more than $600 million annually in additional matching funds and helping to shape a $730 billion arts and culture industry that represents 4.2% of the nation's GDP and supports 4.8 million jobs.”
Arts Advocacy DayAnd in an example of prefect timing, arts advocates from across the country convene in Washington, DC for the annual Arts Advocacy Day on March 21. The day of advocacy brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.

The arts community is neither monolithic nor of only one mind. But when their impact and value are questioned – as elimination of the NEA and similar programs are proposed – groups with many perspectives come together to advance a common mission. 
This bi-weekly newsletter on public policy issues affecting nonprofits is provided as a benefit of membership in the New York Council of Nonprofits, part of the state association network of the National Council of Nonprofits.

Federal Issues
State and Local Issues

Nonprofit VOTE Webinar
Thursday, March 23, 2017, 2:00 pm Eastern
To prepare for future efforts, learn about voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election, including turnout trends, the relative turnout performance of the states, factors affecting turnout, such as same day voter registration and battleground state status, and recommended reforms that may improve voter participation. Register Now!

Worth Quoting
on the Affordable Care Act
“This country better be careful we're not losing the soul of our country because we play politics and we forget people who are in need."
- Ohio Governor John Kasich, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” March 12, 2017, addressing the need to work in a bipartisan manner when replacing the Affordable Care Act, and without intention making a profound statement in support of nonprofit nonpartisanship on behalf of the “soul of our country” and keeping people in need in the forefront of our minds. (Quoted in Governing.)

on Nonpartisanship
“It would become: Do we give (money) to help the poor or to help the party? Church and state aren’t a clear-cut division even now, but to do away with the Johnson amendment would just create some level of political and religious chaos.”
- Professor Bill Leonard, Wake Forest School of Divinity, quoted in “Does the church have a place in politics? Three theologians weigh in,” Winston-Salem (NC) Journal, March 19, 2017. For more information on the Johnson Amendment and advocacy efforts in support of retaining it, seeProtecting Nonprofit Nonpartisanship and go

“Nonprofit organizations are best able to advance their missions when they are nonpartisan. Nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofits are able to serve as true problem solvers working in partnership with government and other community stakeholders with shared values and a common vision that moves well beyond any current political cycle. The Johnson Amendment does not unfairly limit the speech of churches or nonprofits. Religious institutions and other nonprofit organizations that want to give up their public charity status are free to expend their funds for or against political candidates and partisan election activity and keep their tax exempt status as a (c)(4), or Section 527 organization.”
- Jennifer Hutchins, Executive Director of the Maine Nonprofit Association, writing in an Action Alert to members urging their organizations to sign theCommunity Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship.

on Federal Spending Impact on the States
“Simply put, every dollar taken from the state that they can’t somehow adjust for is either a dollar taken from something else or possibly a cut or a tax increase. It really is that tight in many states.”
- Scott Pattison, Executive Director of the National Governors Association, quoted in “As Capitol Hill Debates Health Care, States Face Troubling Fiscal ‘Uncertainty’,” Quinn Libson, Route Fifty (March 9, 2017), explaining the stress that federal budget cuts will have on the states.

on National Service
“Service is a strategy to solve problems.”
- Michigan State Representative Julie Calley (R-87), Co-Chair of the Michigan Nonprofit Caucus in the Legislature and former Chair of the Michigan Community Service Commission, speaking about the value of volunteer service programs such as AmeriCorps, during a panel discussion at the Michigan Legislative Day at the Capitol.

Worth Reading
Can a Small College Save Its Small Town?, Aaron M. Renn,Governing, March 2017, relating numerous examples of nonprofit colleges investing in and strengthening their host communities in mutually beneficial ways that do not involve direct payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs).

Worth Studying
The Social Wellbeing of New York City's Neighborhoods: The Contribution of Culture and the Arts, Mark J. Stern and Susan C. Seifert, March 2017, presenting landmark research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice finding that low- and moderate-income residents in New York City neighborhoods that have access to plentiful cultural resources are healthier, better educated, and safer overall than those in similar communities with fewer creative resources.

Worth Watching
What Makes Someone a Good Ambassador for Your Mission? Maine Association of Nonprofits, March 3, 2017, featuring Andy Robinson sharing his thoughts on what makes a good ambassador or advocate for a nonprofit. (2:15)
Andy Robinson

Worth Studying
Protecting Nonprofit Nonpartisanship | Infographic, National Council of Nonprofits, March 2, 2017

Worth Heeding
“A charity should not arrange, sponsor, or participate in an event, rally, or protest that explicitly supports or opposes any political candidate by name. Charities can and should participate in events supporting or opposing a policy issue in alignment with their mission.”
Charities Participating in Policy and Protest: 2017 and Beyond, Susan Kratz, Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, published inJD Supra Business Advisor, init March 8, 2017.

Numbers in the News
Number of states that adjusted their revenue forecast downward in fiscal year 2017.
Source: “As Capitol Hill Debates Health Care, States Face Troubling Fiscal ‘Uncertainty’,” Quinn Libson in Route Fifty (March 9, 2017).

Nonprofit Events

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Highlights of the Trump Budget Proposal


  • Proposed funding change: -17.9%
  • Up for elimination: $4.2 billion for things including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance and the Community Service Block Grant programs
  • Proposed funding change: -13.2%
  • Up for elimination: $3 billion in spending on the Community Development Block Grant program; $1.1 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships, Choice Neighborhoods, and Self-help Homeownership Opportunity programs
  • Proposed funding change: -28%
  • Spending cuts: $650 million over three years from development banks including the World Bank. Also, reduction in support for the United Nations, including peacekeeping efforts
  • Up for elimination: Global Climate Change Initiative; the Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance account

Trump Budget Cuts Billions of Dollars From Antipoverty Programs

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
By Alex Daniels, Megan O’Neil, and Timothy Sandoval
The Trump administration’s preliminary budget proposal would zero out many nonprofit-administered antipoverty programs in areas including heating assistance, affordable housing, and economic development, while also eliminating federal agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts.
Also on the chopping block is the Corporation for Community and National Service, which provides charities with tens of thousands of low-cost AmeriCorps workers each year, and the agency’s Social Innovation Fund, which steers public and private dollars to nonprofit programs that prove positive results.
The White House called for foreign-assistance spending by the State Department and USAID to be cut by nearly one third, or more than $10 billion.
The spending cuts outlined in the summary "skinny budget" released Wednesday would require the approval of Congress. Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the White House will release in May a full budget for fiscal year 2018.
"Skinny budgets are tricky because they give you top line, but they don’t give you a lot of details," said Alicia Phillips Mandaville, vice president for Global Development Policy and Learning at InterAction, a membership group of international charities. "This one calls out some specific things but not always in ways we can tell what will come out in the subsequent, more detailed version."
Presidents never get everything they request, but the White House budget proposal is always an important and influential starting point for the months of tough negotiations that follow on Capitol Hill.
The stakes for nonprofits are high. Public charities get about one-third of all their revenue from government grants and fees for services, including Medicare and Medicaid payments, according to the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics. Nonprofit revenue totaled $1.7 trillion in 2013, according to the center.

Rallying Cry

Nonprofit leaders across the country reacted with dismay to the cuts proposed in the budget, which they characterized as deep and damaging. They say that if Congress enacts even a portion the cuts outlined by the Trump administration — which were proposed to help pay for a $54 billion increase in military spending — it will have far-reaching consequences for charitable programs and their beneficiaries.
"This is an opportunity for a rallying cry," said Tim Delaney, president of the National Council of Nonprofits.
He called on nonprofit leaders to examine how the potential cuts might affect their organizations and the people they serve. Then they can start reaching out to partner groups and state nonprofit associations to coordinate on advocacy with local representatives.
Nonprofits should emphasize how the cuts will affect the people they serve — not their organizations, Mr. Delaney said. "Nobody cares about whether nonprofits are getting hurt — or this corporation or that entity. The real concern is how this will affect the lives of individual Americans."

Economic Development

President Trump’s budget proposal would shutter multiple programs that serve low-income communities. It would eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal representation for low-income people. It would also close the doors at several regional commissions that provide education, clean water, economic development, and health grants in low-income areas: the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, the Denali Commission, and the Northern Border Commission.
Other programs that would be slated for closure include several U.S. Housing and Urban Development efforts to provide low-income housing, including the HOME Investment Partnerships, Choice Neighborhoods, and Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity programs.
The proposal also calls for a 17.9 percent, or $15.1 billion, cut in the Department of Health and Human Services. It doesn’t specify whether the Senior Nutrition Program, which supports Meals on Wheels groups across the country, would be cut.
"We don’t know how that will be spread out, but it is pretty frightening," said Ellie Hollander, president of Meals on Wheels America.

Community Block Grants

Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United, which supports social services for children and the elderly, is especially concerned about the proposed elimination of the Community Development Block Grant program. It provided $3 billion in grants in the current fiscal year to states, cities, and counties to provide job training, develop housing for low-income residents, build community centers, make loans to small businesses, and redevelop homes.
The block grants allow states and localities flexibility to design programs as they see fit. But because each recipient uses the grants differently, it can be hard to come together to fight the proposed cuts, according to Ms. Butts.
"It’s a blessing and a curse," she said. "When it’s block granted, it’s harder to rally a constituency. It makes it easier to cut."
Ms. Butts is bracing for more. She thinks the $1.5 billion Social Services Block Grant program, an entitlement program that supports foster care and adoption services and adult day care for the elderly, could be vulnerable. It was not included on the proposal, which only outlined cuts in discretionary programs. (Discretionary spending is implemented through appropriations bills, while spending on entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare is mandatory.)
Generations United and social-service organizations from all 50 states sent members of Congress a letter defending the program last week. But Ms. Butts fears that the deep cuts the administration has proposed throughout domestic programs will pit social-service groups against one another.
“Nobody cares about whether nonprofits are getting hurt -- or this corporation or that entity. The real concern is how this will affect the lives of individual Americans.”
"We are stronger together, but some groups are starting to express a willingness to elevate their particular age group," she said. "Some of the groups are starting to splinter."

Foreclosures and Evictions

South Jersey Legal Services, which receives the majority of its funding from the Legal Services Corporation, last year handled more than 9,200 cases. Douglas Gershuny, the group’s executive director, said the proposed elimination of the Legal Services Corporation would reduce that number by a third.
"That means more unjust foreclosures and evictions resulting in homelessness," he said in a statement. Mr. Gershuny also worried that more domestic-violence victims would be unable to escape abuse, and more homeless veterans and hungry children would be denied government benefits.
Closing the Appalachian Regional Commission would be a "cruel disinvestment" from an area hit hard by the collapse of the coal economy, said Jake Lynch, spokesman for the West Virginia Community Development Hub.
Over the past two years, the commission has made $73 million in grants to improve life in coal production areas. Mr. Lynch’s group received $94,000 to mentor local community teams in ways to diversify their economies.
"The specter of ARC vanishing is really sad," Mr. Lynch said. "West Virginia could use some hope and could use some help, and ARC has been providing that."

Advocacy for the Arts

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities are among 19 independent agencies identified for elimination in President Trump’s budget.
The elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts would be a significant blow to the roughly 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations across the nation, said Robert Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts, a network of cultural groups.
Although the amount of money the endowment provides is small, cutting the NEA would disrupt other streams of funding for cultural organizations, he said. Almost all NEA grants are matched by state and local money, and campaigns for private donations are often built around NEA-funded projects, he added.
Ending the NEA would not put many arts organizations "out of business directly," he said. "But that’s really not the point — services will be reduced and survival will be a little bit harder."
The NEA has been a catalyst for growth in the arts since it was formed in the mid-1960s, he said. There were only four state arts councils before the NEA was formed, he said. Now all 50 states have them.
Mr. Lynch noted that on Tuesday about 700 arts leaders will be on Capitol Hill protesting cuts to the NEA and other arts funding during "Arts Advocacy Day."

Ripple Effect

John Gomperts, director of AmeriCorps from 2010 to 2012, said nonprofits with staff members who come to them through programs run by the Corporation for National and Community Service should be talking to their congressional representatives about why they are important.
"We have been, for the last 20-plus years, asking young people to step up and be leaders in their own communities in the county," said Mr. Gomperts, now chief executive of America’s Promise, which works to improve graduation rates, among other things. "It is such a red, white, and blue kind of idea."
Many AmeriCorps volunteers are young people trying to serve children growing up in difficult circumstances, he said.
"I understand the president is trying to give expression to a different set of priorities, but the notion of uninvesting, disinvesting, in young people on both sides of this equation just seems to me unfortunate and shortsighted."
The current appropriation for the Corporation of National and Community Service is $1.1 billion, up from $1 billion in 2016. The agency has sustained attacks from lawmakers and others before, some of whom questioned whether paid service is really service. Nonprofit leaders and champions of national service said they find it striking that President Trump has not said much about volunteering and civic engagement, breaking with decades of presidential tradition.
AnnMaura Connolly, president of the advocacy group Voices for National Service, said that eliminating the Corporation for National and Community Service would cost taxpayers money. She cited a Columbia University study that found that for every $10 spent by the federal government on national service, $15 was raised from private sources to pay for such work.
"By matching or exceeding federal support with private-sector dollars, national service programs lessen the strain on the federal government through partnerships with more than 1,100 community and faith-based nonprofits," Ms. Connolly said in a statement. Among those charities that rely heavily on national service programs are Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities USA, and the American Red Cross, she said.

Foreign Aid

Ms. Phillips Mandaville of InterAction said the proposed one-third cut to foreign assistance includes a reduction in U.S. support for and work with the United Nations and the World Bank.
"At a macro level, those things, added up, really potentially undermine our ability as a country to be engaged in the world," she said.
While many big U.S.-based aid organizations get more than half their revenues from government, others are mostly supported by private philanthropy. Those donors want to see the country continue to play a leading role in global health and development efforts.
"Part of what they are concerned about is not just how much money the United States is putting into something but the net effect on development and humanitarian outcomes if the U.S. withdraws like this," she said.
Spending on foreign aid accounts for less than 1 percent of the federal budget, Ms. Phillips Mandaville said, a good value considering it saves lives and protects U.S. interests. And she questions the choice to slash an already tight foreign-aid budget to pour more into defense spending.
"The same way that Thanksgiving dinner isn’t just about turkey, our global leadership isn’t just about the military," Ms. Phillips Mandaville said. "In dinner terms, what this budget does is propose to eliminate mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie in order just to get more turkey."
She and others in the development community said that U.S. foreign-aid spending has long enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress and that they hope lawmakers will reject proposed cuts to that piece of the budget.
David Miliband, chief executive of the International Rescue Committee, said that slashing the U.S. foreign-aid budget endangers the country’s work to prevent and respond to global crises like ISIS and Ebola.
“The notion of uninvesting, disinvesting, in young people on both sides of this equation just seems to me unfortunate and shortsighted.”
"Working to counteract these with a forward-leaning foreign-aid policy doesn’t just mean saving lives today but sparing the U.S. and its allies around the world the much more difficult, expensive work of combating them tomorrow," Mr. Miliband said in a statement.

Taxes May Be Next

The White House’s proposal did not include details on the administration’s plans for tax policy — so its views on the charitable tax-deduction were not included. Speaking at a rally in Tennessee on Tuesday night, President Trump said that a tax-overhaul bill would follow on the heals of health-care legislation.
Steve Taylor, counsel for public policy for United Way Worldwide, said he’s heard support for the charitable tax deduction in conversations he’s had with White House staff and members of Congress. Still, neither the administration nor legislators on Capitol Hill have ruled out that limits could be placed on the deduction as part of a tax-overhaul bill — which Republicans are hoping to pass this year.
Mr. Taylor said it’s hard to know where the GOP-controlled Congress will come down on the charitable deduction. "At the end of the day, Congress is looking for revenue that they can use for their big-picture plan, which is to lower taxes," he said. "And they’re looking under every stone for that revenue, so we are as vulnerable as any" group.