It’s time for the nonprofit sector’s stakeholders to exert our considerable influence on the national debate in response to the Trump administration’s chilling budget blueprint. Nonprofit organizations account for 11.4 million jobs, 10.3 percent of all private sector employment, $370 billion in charitable giving and touch the lives of every American. Collectively and individually, stakeholders can wield significant influence on the national debate.
Make no mistake. The Nonprofit sector is under assault.
Some of the proposed cuts include reductions to:
• Sea Grant funds that support research institutes like the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
• The Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal assistance for low-income citizens.
• The National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
• The National Institutes of Health, a major source of research funding for colleges, universities and medical centers across the nation that would shrink by nearly 20 percent.
• The $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program that funds Meals on Wheels among many other anti-poverty, job training and school meal programs.
Dangers of Distortion and Disruption
At the core of the Trump administration’s arguments justifying unprecedented reductions in discretionary, public benefit spending, are a barrage of alternative facts justifying these cuts to “Make America Great Again.”
For example, Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, said there is “no demonstrable” justification to keep the 19 federal agencies that would be eliminated by this budget. However, Mulvaney could offer no plausible explanation for how the Trump administration determined these targeted agencies’ programs were not working as intended or serving a vital purpose for the country.
Inexplicably, the blueprint does not even incorporate Trump’s cornerstone campaign promise to pour $1 trillion into roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure projects to drive new jobs and improved economic well-being for hundreds of thousands of families.
This budget sets up a cascade of devastating consequences for stakeholder organizations and all Americans who benefit from their missions.
We must act swiftly to confront this affront to civil society, and use our mighty platform that represents and benefits millions of stakeholders, donors and citizens.
Educate and Mobilize Your Stakeholders and Beneficiaries
You and your organization MUST communicate swiftly and frequently with your donors and stakeholders through multiple channels, to share with them how your constituents and your mission will be affected by this budget proposal.
I encourage you to think beyond just the direct impact on your organization. Take a broader view that links the complexities of the economy and people’s lives to the hardship that will result for your organization and the people you help.
Communicate your position on this budget. It will serve as a strong stewardship and fundraising strategy. Deliver regular email messages, featured space on your homepage, letters from your CEO to key stakeholders, broad-based direct mail appeals and social media posts to inform your stakeholders of the consequences of this budget proposal, at least from your organization’s perspective.
This is an a-political, educational, public service that will benefit your supporters and constituents. You should also encourage your stakeholders to communicate with their congressional representatives… a philanthropic act, indeed! Give them links to sources of information containing real facts about the positive effects of your services and the negative effects of these proposed budget cuts.
1. It is time to act.
2. Conduct deep analysis addressing how the proposed federal budget priorities will affect your constituents and organization.
3. Design and execute an education and stewardship initiative to address federal budget priorities.
Again such a great piece. I just can’t understand why people didn’t comprehend and subsequently see this coming. When Sandy Weil, pushed to roll back “Glass Steigel,” it was clear what greed at any cost would do.
Cloaked under the mantra “Make America Great Again” POTUS pulled off his best yet. All while the media feeding on there need for content to fill a twenty-four hour news cycle. They provided the opportunity to make this possible.
So where was the balance or push back. Hillary ended her campaign with $150 million in the bank. What does that say about a comitment to win. This when at no time did she really distance herself from her opponent.
A middle class lady who voted for Donald Trump explained that she was greatfull for the ACA, because it covered her son when he lost his job. She was still steadfast against Obama Care.
I like your plan to take action. I may even suggest that we follow Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and or Martin Luther King. This being fully aware that this nation was founded on disruption from the bottom up. We simply were not going to accept the impositions that England placed on us.
The cost of liberty is eternal vigilance, unfortunately the voters in Britan were sleeping when they voted to leave the union and we followed their lead.
You always impress and educate. It is these facts that the American people need to be exposed too. I believe that you are doing God’s work.
The only concern is that your echo chamber is not larger. These types of messages must get to the populace. This passive attitude that many Americans and especially progressives follow, must be replaced with a call to action.
I pray for Mr. Trump because I beleive that he doesn’t grasp what he has been drawn into. His position next to the nuclear codes/football is reason enough to allow him to back away from a decision that was never intended for him.
He will make America great again by stepping down. He has shown how fragile is our system. He has shown how otherwise intelligent people will fall in line. Some have reminded us about the turmoil in Germany in 1930.
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