Policy Alerts

CalNonprofits sends out action alerts about important issues that impact nonprofits in California and the communities we work in. 

You can sign up here to receive these alerts via email, and we have also compiled these alerts below.


February 5, 2022: We've drafted "Principles for the Reform of Policies Governing Philanthropy” in the form of a working draft. We have already received useful feedback from several nonprofit and foundation leaders. Please help us improve this draft by sending your comments and suggestions!

April 21, 2021: CalNonprofits’ Public Policy Director Lucy Salcido Carter testified at the California State Assembly confirmation hearing for Attorney General Nominee, and current State Assemblymember, Rob Bonta—to recommend five key nonprofit-related priorities for the new Attorney General

March 25, 2021: Open memo to California local governments on investing in nonprofits.

March 1, 2021: CalNonprofits weighs in on U.S. Supreme Court case Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Xavier Becerra; a case with a potentially significant impact on California nonprofits, and where opponents are misleading. Read about the details and our perspective.

February 1, 2021: CalNonprofits sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom describing the priorities he should look for when selecting a new CA Attorney General. Read the letter here.

January 26, 2021: The Senate Budget Subcommittee 4 on State Administration and General Government held an informational hearing on current relief programs. Calnonprofits testified in the hearing, highlighting the experiences of nonprofits with existing relief programs and describing what nonprofits need in future programs. You can read the letter we sent to the chairs of the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittee 4 (Senator Anna M. Caballero and Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo); the letter includes CalNonprofits’ testimony in the January 26 hearing.

CalNonprofits Board Calls on You: Yes on Propositions 15, 16, and 17. (September 29, 2020) CalNonrofits supports these three propositions on the November 2020 ballot. Click to learn more about each of them, and why they align with nonprofit values.

COVID-19 Town Halls for Nonprofits with California Lawmakers. California legislators co-hosted a series of Town Halls for nonprofits in their districts. Click to see a full list, including upcoming Town Halls and links to the recordings for previous Town Halls.

Urgent: Help ensure fair online fundraising practices (August 11, 2020) Join us in getting AB 2208, a bill that establishes basic guidelines and standards for the fast-growing charitable fundraising platform industry, over the finish line.

Down But Not Out (July 28, 2020) We report on the fate and future of the Donor-Advised Funds bill (AB2936) and the potential for a bill about online fundraising platforms such as PayPal, GoFundMe, Facebook, and others (AB2208).

What's happening with Donor-Advised Funds? (June 11, 2020). Assembly Bill 2936, modest Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) legislation, is making its way through the California legislature, conversations about DAFs are sparking across the country, and we highlight one of the more problematic aspects of DAFs: transfers from foundations to DAFs are used to meet the 5% annual payout requirement for foundations.

Action alert! Donor-advised fund (DAF) bill heads to state senate: your action needed today! (June 23, 2020). Sign on to help get AB 2936 passed in the State Senate and on to the Governor's desk. Deadline for signatures: July 10, 2020.

Sign on to stop nonprofit evictions during COVID-19 crisis (June 11, 2020). Join us in encouraging California lawmakers to pass SB939, allowing nonprofits can maintain their places of business despite economic hardship because of the COVID-19 crisis.

CalNonprofits Letter to Congress Supporting the HEROES Act (May 14, 2020)

CalNonprofits Response to the California Department of Finance Fiscal Outlook Report (May 7, 2020) CEO Jan Masaoka responded to the bleak fiscal picture for Californians in the coming months and years, as reported by the Department of Finance, urging lawmakers to resist cuts and joining a growing group of advocates calling for additional federal support for Californians.

Press Release: California’s Nonprofits Step Up During Crisis, But Irreparable Harm to Sector Underway (April 14, 2020) Based on the results of the questionnaire, CalNonprofits warns that absent immediate state action, the viability of thousands of nonprofits is in jeopardy.

Action Alert! Government Needs to Hear Nonprofits Voices Now (April 8, 2020) This call to action asks nonprofits with government contracts to complete a questionnaire to help inform state leaders about contracting flexibility needed by nonprofits now. 

Bipartisan Set of More than 30 California Legislators Call on Governor for Additional Support for Nonprofits (March 27, 2020) Led by Assemblymembers Rivas and Limón, legislators included CalNonprofits recommendations in a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom.

Action Alert! Sign on to Request Nonprofit-specific Support from State Government (March 18, 2020). Please join us in asking California policymakers to enact emergency measures to protect nonprofits, so we can continue to serve our communities, protect public health, and support our employees by signing on to this letter.

California’s nonprofits and COVID-19: Letter to Policymakers (March 13, 2020). CalNonprofits recommendations to policymakers as emergency measures are crafted to respond to the COVID19 pandemic.

Legislative Update on Donor-Advised Funds Transparency bill (January 23, 2020). Assemblymember Buffy Wicks will be introducing a new bill to replace AB 1712.

Action Alert! Help bring sunlight to donor-advised funds (January 6, 2020). This call to action asks nonprofits and foundations to sign on to the support letter for AB 1712, a CalNonprofits co-sponsored bill, that will provide insight into the activities of large DAFs.

Parking Tax Repealed! Victory for Nonprofits (December 23, 2019). Nonprofits and allies celebrate the repeal of the unfair and confusing provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that imposed a 21% unrelated business income tax on the expenses that tax-exempt nonprofits incur for providing their employees with transportation fringe benefits, such as parking and transit passes.

2019 Bills: Where are they now? (October 18, 2019). This legislative wrap up covers what happened in the 2019 legislative year including an update on the coastal habitat restoration bill (AB1011), the Donor-Advised Funds transparency bill (AB1712), the Student Debt Borrower's Defense bill (AB376). Also included is an update on the state grants website.

Pending bill on in-kind donations would only affect a few nonprofits (June 12, 2019). This legislative update talks about AB1181, which will only impact in-kind donations restricted by the donor to only be used outside the U.S. This legislative update also includes information on the Donor Advised Funds bill (AB1712) and the Student Debt Borrower's Defense bill (AB376).

CalNonprofits Sponsors Bill for Transparency in Donor-Advised Funds (March 18, 2019) We are pleased to announce a new bill on DAFs - AB 1712 - co-sponsored by CalNonprofits, NextGen California, and philanthropist Kat Taylor, authored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks.
Donor Advised Funds FAQ
AB 1712

Senators Feinstein and Harris Need to Hear From You on the Nonprofit Parking Tax (March 8, 2019) This call to action reminds nonprofits about the unfair and confusing provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that imposes a 21% unrelated business income tax on the expenses that tax-exempt nonprofits incur for providing their employees with transportation fringe benefits, such as parking and transit passes, and encourages people to contact California's senators to express their support for the repeal of that provision.

Services and Operations Threatened as Federal Shutdown Continues (January 24, 2019) Read our summary of how the shutdown is affecting nonprofits and communities in surprisingly large ways.

Nonprofits Flexed Our Muscle in the 2018 Legislative Session (October 1, 2018) Get the rundown on the bills CalNonprofits supported and opposed in the 2018 legislative session, including bills focused on state funding opportunities, voting, student loan borrowers, Census 2020, and net neutrality.

What Should Nonprofits Know About 501(c)(4) organizations? Especially in an Election Year? (September 21, 2018) This article outlines the differences between 501(c)(3) and 501(c)4s, explains why nonprofits may want to start a C4, and examines the role C4s are playing in elections. 

CalNonprofits Says Yes on Proposition Two; No on Proposition Five (September 16, 2018). Read why CalNonprofits supports Proposition Two and opposes Proposition Five. 

Ask Governor Brown to sign AB 2252 to make state funding opportunities more accessible
 (September 10, 2018) Thanks to strong support from nonprofits across California, the California legislature approved AB 2252 with bipartisan support, and it's now on Governor Brown's desk. Read our AB 2252 update, as well as an update on four other bills that we're urging action on. 

Two New Resources for California Nonprofits for the November Election! (August 29, 2018) It’s only August, but we’re talking about the November election now because we know that nonprofit voter engagement works— and it's much easier to do if you spend a little time planning for it. With nearly one million people working at nonprofits in California, we can be a powerful force for change— if we show up and vote. That’s why we’re sharing two new Vote With Your Mission resources to get the word out to your nonprofit colleagues, volunteers, and board members.
Bonus: Be sure to join our webinar on September 25th, National Voter Registration Day!

Help make state funding opportunities more accessible to nonprofits, and oppose the extension of a problematic raffle carve-out (August 27, 2018)
Great news!  AB 2252 was approved by the Assembly on August 27, 2018, and is now headed to Governor Brown.  But, we still need your support in opposing AB 888, which would extend a troubled raffle experiment despite no reporting on whether communities benefited from the first three years of this experiment. 

As trusted messengers, nonprofits are key to reaching hard-to-count people (August 16, 2018) 
Three committees in the California legislature held a joint hearing focused on the upcoming 2020 Census- and the role nonprofits, local government, and philanthropy will play in reaching hard-to-count Californians. Jan Masaoka, CEO at CalNonprofits testified about the existing trust that communities already have in nonprofits, and how that trust will be essential to obtaining an accurate Census count in 2020. 

Policy Forum Webinar Shows What’s at Stake in 2020 Census for California (July 31, 2018)
During this in-depth discussion, Census experts talked about what’s at stake for our state, what the challenges will be, and why our government, nonprofits, and philanthropy will have to work together to prevent an undercount in California.

What? Our nonprofit has to pay taxes on benefits we give to employees? (July 25, 2018)
The new federal tax law signed last December included a big surprise for nonprofits and churches related to employee benefits. If your nonprofit provides employees a transportation benefit (such as a monthly amount for commuting), a parking reimbursement at work, or gym benefit, that amount is now taxed as if it were unrelated income (despite the fact that it’s actually an expense). Learn more about the "nonprofit parking tax" and how you can help fight it.

Hold Major League Sports Raffles Accountable  (July 18, 2018)
Nonprofits should be concerned about extending this special carve-out because there has been no audit or review to see if this program is working or where the money is going, and what little information CalNonprofits has been able to gather about these raffles raises more questions than it answers. Join us in opposing an extension of this special carve-out.

Take Action: Oppose the Citizenship Question on the 2020 Census  (July 2, 2018)
There is another opportunity for nonprofits to support the communities they serve and to ensure they are properly counted by speaking out against the inclusion of a citizenship question. Comments are due by August 7, 2018.

Help Make it Easier for Nonprofits to Get State Funding (June 27, 2018)
CalNonprofits is sponsoring Assembly Bill 2252, which would create a searchable database of state grants -- from all state agencies -- on a single portal accessible to the public. The bill also would enable nonprofits to submit state funding applications electronically. Learn more and add your support for this bill.

What Works When Nonprofits Engage Voters (May 22, 2018)
The primary election on June 5th is fast approaching, and registering voters, educating voters, and getting out the vote are powerful ways for nonprofits to stand up for their communities and ensure their voices are heard. Learn how nonprofits in Napa are doing just that!

Why Nonprofits Care About the 2020 Census and What We Can Do Now (May 1, 2018)
An accurate census count matters: Federal funding is allocated based on census data, and our communities need to be counted. Learn what nonprofits can do to support an accurate count.

Use crowdfunding at your California nonprofit? We want to hear from you! (April 25, 2018)
While many nonprofits have successfully raised funds through these platforms, there are also reports that donations are not getting to nonprofits, that scam artists are raising money for nonprofits but actually taking the money themselves, that platforms are taking large undisclosed cuts of donations, and so forth. As proposals for regulations emerge, we need to hear more about the lived experiences of nonprofits and donors. Give us feedback about your experience.

With federal budget cuts looming, California needs to close a tax loophole for big business (March 18, 2018)
As part of our campaign Nonprofits Standing Up for California Communities, CalNonprofits is on the steering committee of a collaboration working to close a long-standing corporate tax loophole, and as a result, bring more than $11 billion per year to California -- for education, for social services, and for basic local services such as water systems and trauma centers. These funds will stay local -- within the counties where they are collected. Learn more about why we're supporting The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act.

Tell Congress to Leave the Johnson Amendment Alone (March 8, 2018)
The Washington Post reports that a rider to weaken the Johnson Amendment has been included in this omnibus bill. However, that rider could be left out of the final bill if Congress hears from enough of us that we don't the Johnson Amendment tampered with.

Protecting Nonprofits and Taxpayers in California: CalNonprofits' Sacramento Update (January 26, 2018) The state legislature has re-convened, and we have our first update on what promises to be a busy legislative session. Learn more about what issues we'll be monitoring and advocating on.

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