Make your voice heard. Here’s how…
To request a meeting with your Congressman or Senators:
- Go to the House of Representatives website and enter your zip code to find your representative, and visit the Senate website to find your senators. The Member’s/Senators’ websites will likely have a “scheduling requests” option to submit a form to meet with them. You can also call the district office and ask the staff the best way to request a meeting with the Member or Senator.
- Independent Sector’s State Profiles are useful to provide specific information to your member and senators about the scope and impact of nonprofit organizations in your state. We encourage you to bring these to in-district meetings to give lawmakers context about the sector in your state.
Frequently Asked Questions and Talking Points
- A list of general talking points about tax reform and the universal charitable deduction.
- A list of frequently asked questions with responses about tax reform and the universal charitable deduction.
A letter to the editor is a good way to communicate with influencers in your community and your federal, state and local lawmakers. You can find examples below:
- Preserving Charitable Giving Assures a Strong and Free Civil Society: This template highlights the free civil society approach to governing often written about by Alexis de Tocqueville and how the charitable giving incentive fits into that narrative.
- Unintended Consequences of Tax Reform: This template explains that diminishing the value of the charitable deduction could be an unintended consequence of simplifying the tax code and provides a solution.
- Tax Reform is an Opportunity for America’s Charities: This template proposes that at the 100th anniversary of the charitable deduction, tax reform is an opportunity to recognize the value of the incentive and expand it to all taxpayers.
- What I Learned in Washington: This is an “a la carte” list of lessons learned in DC from which you can choose and customize based on your experience.
Social media is a simple and effective method for reinforcing your message with your lawmakers. We encourage you to share blog posts or articles supporting your position with members of Congress. At this link you will find a few example updates that can be used on social media.
To find out when your Congressman’s next town hall is, visit their website and find the schedule of events. If you are unable to find this on their website, you can also call their district office phone number and ask the staff member when and where the next town hall meeting is taking place.
You can also sign up for townhall alerts at townhallproject.com.
Questions at town halls should be direct and request your representative’s position on an issue. Here is a sample town hall question:
- Eighty percent of all giving by individuals is from people who take the charitable deduction. Were you aware the House Blueprint for tax reform would take away the charitable deduction for most taxpayers because of the huge increase in the standard deduction? Is this on your radar?