Mike’s Monday Message Takeover: Impact of the PAC on AFP Lobby Week
Today kicks off AFP’s third annual Chapter Lobby Week where AFP Global asks all U.S. chapters to visit at least one Member of Congress and/or their staff during the week of October 2, 2023, virtually or in-person. With this grassroots activity happening, I would like to take this opportunity to thank AFP members who have donated to AFP’s Political Action Committee (PAC). The AFP PAC directly supports AFP’s advocacy priorities by contributing to members of Congress and candidates for federal office who champion philanthropy; it is nonpartisan and one of the only PACs focusing on philanthropy and charitable giving.
As Congress barely avoided a government shutdown over the weekend, it can seem that the system is just too dysfunctional and AFP members can’t have an impact. And yet, we’ve never seen such momentum building across the two political parties for the bipartisan, AFP-supported Charitable Act, legislation that would restore the universal charitable deduction. This bill would provide a much-needed incentive among middle income families to increase their charitable giving. As an example of the broad support, the Senate bill has 19 bipartisan cosponsors (10 Democrats and nine Republicans), nearly 20 percent of the U.S. Senate. In the House, 10 bipartisan Ways and Means Committee Members of the 43 total Committee roster are cosponsors of the bill.
In 2022, the AFP PAC contributed to the campaigns of several members of Congress that were instrumental in the passage of the Legacy IRA Act, legislation which incentives charitable giving for seniors. The AFP PAC directly contributed to the campaigns of six Members of Congress after careful consideration that, for the first time, included reviewing the candidates’ commitment to the values and principles of AFP and philanthropy, such as upholding democratic values, election integrity and voting rights, and equality and inclusion, including but not limited to social justice, racial and gender equality, human rights, and LGBTQIA2S+ rights.
Now, last month, for the first time, AFP’s PAC Board voted to make contributions to candidates in an off-election year to help build momentum for the Charitable Act. The seven Members of Congress receiving 2023 AFP PAC contributions are leading supporters of the Charitable Act and reflect AFP’s IDEA principles. AFP PAC contributions show support to bipartisan players on Capitol Hill who are committed to advancing philanthropy (and this legislation, in particular) and give us opportunities to advocate with Members of Congress for AFP’s priorities—such as the recent small, private breakfast AFP CEO & President Mike Geiger attended with Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, at which Sen. Wyden committed to supporting the Charitable Act.
If you are attending AFP LEAD, please come to the PAC Reception on Friday, October 20 at 5pm to hear about our advocacy efforts directly. And, join me and AFP colleagues the next morning at an educational session called, “Can understanding public policy and advocacy make you a better fundraiser? Yes it can!”
The progress we saw last year with the Legacy IRA Act and are seeing this year on the Charitable Act would not have been possible without the generous contributions of AFP PAC donors and the chapters’ engagement with Lobby Week. I invite you to join me in backing AFP’s policy priorities by supporting the PAC this year. We look forward to continuing to keep AFP PAC donors updated on the impact of this support!