A unified voice for Georgia nonprofitsBy Karen Beavor | Georgia Nonprofit NOW, Winter 2017
At GCN, we believe that nonprofits are cornerstones of civic inclusion, conduits through which citizens put their values into action. The sector’s animating spirit of progress and innovation, grit and tenacity, are hallmarks of America at its best. Though the missions that make up the charitable community differ wildly, they are united in their common pursuit to ignite what is possible in all of us.
As one of the nation’s greatest assets, the nonprofit sector is worth preserving, protecting, and advancing. For that reason, GCN stands for public policies that support and advance the role of the nonprofit sector, and encourage citizens to take an active role in civic pursuits. As Georgia’s association for the nonprofit sector, we take this role very seriously, establishing and leveraging productive relationships with policymakers to create nonprofit champions in the halls of government. We also empower individuals and organizations to engage with elected officials at all levels in order to shape public policy and inspire further action for the common good.
As the 115th Congress convenes, one of our immediate concerns is the use of a budget reconciliation maneuver to enact comprehensive tax reform, which may contain provisions damaging to nonprofits and philanthropy, such as diminished deductions for charitable contributions and raising the limits on estate taxes, among other issues. To that end, we’re speaking to our elected officials, on our own and through our national affiliates, to tell the story of the sector’s value and the common good spurred by the charitable tax deduction. At the same time, we’re educating our members and the public about the tax reform issues that impact charitable causes, and leading the mobilization of Georgia’s nonprofit sector.
We’re proud to serve as a unified voice for Georgia’s nonprofits, preserving the sector’s interests by promoting positive connections with state and federal administrators, and showing them the value of nonprofit work for everyone – regardless of party affiliation or individual ideology.
Read our Policy Platform here.
Interested in learning more about the policies affecting specific subsector work, and efforts to shape, implement, or challenge them? Check in with some of our state’s nonprofit advocates, listed below, including a number of GCN members.
ACLU of Georgia: Dedicated to preserving civil liberties and enhancing the rights of all Georgia citizens through communications, lobbying, and litigation.
All About Developmental Disabilities: Training and supporting advocates throughout the state to work for change on behalf of people with and issues related to developmental disabilities.
Atlanta 9to5: Forging public policies that help working women and their families reach their full economic potential, and ensuring their voices are heard at every level of government.
disABILITY LINK: Advocating for policies that make it possible for people with disabilities to live independently, in areas including financial support, integration, civil rights, housing, transportation, and more.
Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness: Identifying and advocating for immediate and long-term solutions for homelessness at the state, local, and national levels, and raising awareness among policymakers.
Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice: Increasing justice for Georgia’s poor, young, and marginalized residents through law and policy reform and community engagement.
Georgia Arts Network: Building support for arts and arts education through research, grassroots organizing, coalition-building, and government relations.
Georgia Budget & Policy Institute: Analyzing Georgia’s state budget, taxes, and public policies to highlight solutions that help build a more prosperous Georgia for all.
Georgia Center for Child Advocacy: Partnering with the Department of Early Care & Learning, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Division of Family and Children Services to impact systems at the state level and policy at local levels.
Georgia Child Care Association: Advocating for sound public policy that fosters quality, affordable, and accessible childcare for working parents.
Georgia Conservancy: Advocating for the protection and conservation of Georgia’s natural resources at the local, state, and federal levels, in areas including transportation, energy, water resources, land conservation, and development.
Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities: Promoting public policy that encourages the integration between people with developmental disabilities, the people who support them, and the community as a whole.
Georgia Equality: Working year-round to pass pro-equality legislation, elect fair-minded officials, provide information to decision-makers, and mobilize residents to advance fairness, safety, and opportunity for LGBT residents.
Georgia Food Bank Association: Raising awareness and advocating for change that will eradicate hunger through the multi-year “Feeding for a Promising Future” campaign.
Georgia Sierra Club: Working to elect champions for clean air, clean water, and climate action at all levels of government, and empowering residents to advocate for environmental issues.
Georgia Watch: Advocating for consumer rights, including access to quality healthcare, fair utility rates, renewable energy options, secure personal finances, and access to the courts.
Georgians for a Healthy Future: Providing health policy information to community leaders and advocates, and engaging policymakers to spark change for a healthier Georgia.
Meals on Wheels Association: Advancing legislation and policies that strengthen home-delivered and group-setting programs, the volunteers who make them happen, and the seniors they serve.
Mental Health America of Georgia: Advocating for better mental health services, prevention, early intervention, and de-stigmatization across all 159 counties and at the State Capitol.
Southern Center for Human Rights: Proposing constructive, humane, non-violent approaches to the causes of crimes in order to reduce the rate of incarceration among vulnerable residents.
Voices for Georgia’s Children: Developing and advancing a long-term, comprehensive policy agenda focused on early childhood, child health, and transitioning youth to foster change in five measures of child well-being.
Karen Beavor is president and CEO of GCN.