2020 Legislative Agenda
Advocate for Nonprofits in response to COVID-19
In February of 2020, reports of incidences in the United States of a new strand of coronavirus, caused by COVID-19, began to change our daily lives. Individuals began following stay-at-home and/or quarantine directives. Businesses and nonprofits, separated into essential and non-essential services, began adjusting operations to be more virtual or closed their doors.
- Share research on COVID-19’s impact on Florida’s nonprofits. FNA will collect and gather surveys from across the state to share the financial, staff, and other impacts of the pandemic on nonprofits.
- Advocate with elected officials on inclusion of nonprofits in economic relief packages. FNA will actively with our Congressional Delegation to ensure nonprofits are included in stimulus packages being discussed.
- Advocate with Governor’s office and State agencies to ensure nonprofits contracts are maintained. FNA will communicate with Governor’s office and state agencies to ensure nonprofit contracts are maintained and paid on a timely manner.
Convene the Florida Charitable Advisory Partnership
- Proactively work with state agencies to improve and strengthen the relationship between public agencies and the charitable sector. FCAP will utilize its resources and networks to coordinate and support the interests of the sector throughout the state to address regulatory barriers, new ideas, and operational efficiencies.
- Provide feedback on existing and proposed regulatory and legislative policies impacting the charitable nonprofit sector. FCAP will periodically review existing Florida laws and regulations governing nonprofits, providing suggestions for any changes that would further align statute with the changing environment and issues pertinent to the sector. FCAP will also provide input and feedback on proposed regulations that will impact the nonprofit and philanthropic sector in Florida.
- Improve the public’s understanding and awareness of charities and charitable giving. FCAP will assist state charity regulators in maximizing the information, tools, and leadership available to educate Floridians so that they can make well-informed choices about their charitable donations.
- Promote effective, reasonable and efficient data collection and sharing about the charitable nonprofit sector in Florida. FCAP will assist charity regulators with developing methods to inform charities about Florida’s reporting and filing requirements to help increase compliance, reduce fraud and abuse and provide Floridians with better, more accurate data upon which they may base their charitable gift decisions.
- Promote the public’s understanding and awareness of the importance of charitable capital and cross-sector partnerships in the pursuit of positive social change.
FCAP will work toward leveraging the appropriate balance of civic, government, and private sector engagement in order to create more vibrant communities in Florida.
In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will conduct the decennial census pursuant to the Enumeration Clause of the U.S. Constitution. A fair, accurate, and complete count of all persons is important for our democratic institutions as the census determines how representatives are apportioned among the several states, as well as how hundreds of billions of federal dollars are allocated to states and localities for key programs, many of which are administered through charitable organizations.
- FNA will train nonprofits on how to incorporate the Census in their work. Undercounts of individuals and demographic groups that charitable nonprofits serve can lead to inadequate representation and funding, which in turn put more pressure on nonprofits and foundations, state and local governments, and businesses in undercounted areas to do even more to address unmet needs.
- FNA will share regular updates with nonprofits on the Census timeline, process, and administrative updates. FNA believes that it and all charitable nonprofits have a significant stake and role to play in ensuring that all residents are counted as part of the 2020 Census.
- FNA will work with Florida’s Congressional delegation to help with outreach. FNA will work with Communication staffers in Congress on messaging for Florida’s constituents.
OMB Uniform Guidance. Protecting nonprofits’ rights
Governments at all levels – local, state, and federal – that hire nonprofits to deliver services are now required to reimburse nonprofits for reasonable indirect costs (sometimes called “overhead” or “administrative” costs) they incur on behalf of governments when federal dollars are part of the funding stream.
- The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) put new mandates in their grantmaking rules into effect at the end of 2014. In addition, the new OMB Uniform Guidance streamlines and clarifies cost allocation and other rules related to government grants and contracts, removing some areas of confusion and inconsistency while treating more of a nonprofit’s expenses as direct.
- The OMB Uniform Guidance only provides a promise of better treatment of nonprofits providing services under programs funded in whole or in part by the federal government. Turning that promise into reality requires actions on the part of every nonprofit earning federal funds, either directly or from pass-through entities. By understanding what the new cost allocation rules allow, and managing costs accordingly, nonprofits can secure reimbursement for more of their costs than formerly allowed.
FNA will continue to educate nonprofits on potential compliance challenges and opportunities related to how the Uniform Guidance should be properly interpreted.
Promote volunteerism and service.
Florida is ranked 50th for volunteerism in the Nation. Nonprofit organizations rely heavily on volunteers to serve those in need.
- FNA will work with Volunteer Florida to increase the number of volunteers in the state.
- FNA will utilize its economic impact dashboard to allow Floridians to learn about their local nonprofits
Support and Advance the Role of the Nonprofit Sector
FNA will continue to advance and advocate on behalf of the nonprofit sector by releasing research that provides a better understanding of the sector.
- Update our Economic impact dashboard. This update will allow individuals to connect with nonprofits in their local communities
- Share the updated economic impact report with lawmakers in Tallahassee and Washington D.C to share the impact of the sector in our communities and in our state.
- Utilize the compensation report to reaffirm nonprofits as desirable employers and promote employment policies that take into consideration the unique circumstances of nonprofit organizations.