JOIN US IN TAKING ACTION
ON THE ADVERSE IMPACT OF HIGH GAS PRICES
ON VOLUNTEERS, NONPROFITS, AND THE COMMUNITIES
Write our Federal Senators and Congressmen
about important impending legislation in Congress
On behalf of the more than 68,000 501 (c) 3 charitable nonprofits in our state and the tens of thousands of their volunteers who give their time to help others in communities across Texas, we write to ask YOU to join us in writing to express your strong support for the Giving Incentives to Volunteers Everywhere Act of 2008 (GIVE Act) (S.3429). The Act addresses the adverse impact of high gas prices on volunteers, nonprofits, and the communities we serve.
The Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations (TANO) has already taken a strong position to support the GIVE Act by signing onto a joint letter sent to Senators Schumer and Ensign by the National Council of Nonprofit Associations, 34 other state associations of nonprofits, and many distinguished nonprofits, such as AARP, American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, Independent Sector, and the United Way of America.
We are engaged in public policy and advocacy efforts in order to provide you with timely information and action alerts such as this one. We can only make a difference if we act as a united group and in a timely fashion.
The GIVE Act of 2008, introduced August 6, by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John Ensign (R-NV), and co-sponsored now by Senators Dodd (CT) and Feingold (WI) addresses the adverse impacts resulting from high gas prices and unfair tax policies. The pool of volunteers who can use their own vehicles to transport meals to the homebound, drive the elderly and ill to doctors’ appointments, deliver governance oversight, and provide other needed services has been diminished. The GIVE Act respects the value of volunteers and eliminates some of the disincentives that prevent charitable volunteers from doing what they really want to do, which is to help the needy in their communities.
A number of proposals have emerged and we support the GIVE Act as introduced because it has features that address economic pain being felt in America’s communities and recognizes the vital role the nonprofit sector plays in coordinating volunteer efforts to meet human needs. The Act:
1) Raises the charitable mileage deduction from 14 cents to almost 41 cents (70% of the business rate);
2) Eliminates the need for nonprofits to seek new legislation every year by setting the charitable volunteer rate to a standard adjusted by the IRS; and
3) Excludes from any income tax consequence actual mileage reimbursements made to volunteers.
In order to facilitate your prompt response and engagement, you will find a variety of resources at our site at www.tano.org/GIVE_Act, including:
1. sample letters to your Senators and Representatives which you may customize or use as is;
2. link to find your Senator or Congressiopnal representative;
3. ongoing updates on the GIVE Act
Because of the post-9/11 security issues, it can take up to THREE MONTHS for postal mail and package delivery services to get through to legislators and their staffs. All incoming mail and parcels are subjected to thorough analysis for bombs, poisons and biological agents.
So e-mail your letters in addition to sending by USPS.
And please send a copy to email@example.com
so we can be aware of your activity and support and continue to serve our collective interests.
Share your own experiences at http://www.tano.org/en/forums/ and provide our TANO representatives with the concrete, real life examples of how current tax policy negatively affects our ability to serve all Texans
We also encourage you to include a local story in your letters, and towards that end we have included a few sample stories from around the country as illustrations. These local stories also provide excellent material for the media in your area.
We will be monitoring this bill as it passes through Congress and continue to provide you with information and calls for action as necessary. Additional resources on this issue are also available at our website at www.tano.org/GIVE_Act. Explore our other resources throught www.tano.org while you are there.
In closing, write your Congress Persons, send us your stories, contact your local media, and above all act NOW and express our united voice!
Marianne Ehrlich, Board Chair
Barry Silverberg, President & CEO
Richard W. Meyer, Vice-President for Public Policy & Advocacy
Robert Pinhero, Chair, Public Policy Working Group