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February 2020 Public Policy Update


Each month, SECF provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, SECF's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@secf.org.


Foundations on the Hill Just Over a Month Away -- Register Now!

The Senate is expected to conclude the presidential impeachment trial this week, which means Congress will soon return to working on legislation that could have an effect on foundations and the organizations they support.

In other words, this is the perfect time to make our case directly to lawmakers – you can play your part by joining us next month for Foundations on the Hill!

Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) 2020 will take place March 9-11 in Washington, D.C. Once again, SECF plans to bring the largest delegation in the country to educate policymakers on the need for laws and regulations that promote charitable giving and a strong philanthropic sector.

If you're new to FOTH or advocacy, don't worry -- our state captains and Public Policy Committee leaders will quickly get you up to speed and support you as you meet with lawmakers and staff.

You can be a part of the voice of Southern philanthropy – visit SECF.org now to register for Foundations on the Hill!

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California DAF Bill on Hold – for Now

Legislation in California that would have opened the door to regulation of donor-advised funds, including possible disclosure of donor information, appeared to be making progress earlier this month until it was pulled from the agenda by its lead sponsor.

The bill, AB 1712, had passed a committee on January 14, but is now off the agenda. It had faced a January 31 deadline to be approved by the state Assembly. Its lead sponsor, however, said on January 23 that she will introduce a new version of the legislation later this month.

The legislation would have allowed the California attorney general to develop reporting regulations related to donor-advised funds (DAFs). This could open the door to some loss of privacy for donors that work with DAF sponsors.

National philanthropic organizations have been keeping an eye on the California bill since it may inspire similar action in other states, including within the Southeast. California's size can also result in its legislation having an effect well beyond its borders -- organizations often tailor their policies and practices to suit California law rather than have two sets of rules.

DAF Survey: Stanford Law School is conducting a research seminar on donor advised funds, with the goal of informing and improving the practices of donors, wealth advisors, donor advised funds, and nonprofits. Click here to take the survey – responses are due by Monday, February 10.

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Coming Up in March…

In our next Public Policy Update, arriving on March 2, we’ll reveal SECF’s 2020 Public Policy Agenda as we head into Foundations on the Hill. We will also provide updates on any developments in Washington, on the campaign trail or in state capitols that affect the philanthropic sector.

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