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DANA's Public Policy Blog
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DANA will be updating you on important public policy matters as they happen. We will also post about the activities of the Governor, Delaware's General Assembly, local issues, hearings & meetings, and legislation that relates to DANA's Public Policy Agenda.


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Quick Updates on the U.S. TAX CODE and OVERTIME PAY

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Here are two items that we’re watching.  We keep you updated on items like these in case you want to engage directly with the Delaware U.S. Delegation on these important matters: 

1. U.S. Department of Labor proposed overtime regulations, we alert you to an analysis that the National Council of Nonprofits (NCNP) prepared and circulated.  In the analysis, they summarize the proposal, provide legal and historical background, and offer questions we think nonprofits should consider when submitting comments to the Department of Labor.

“Because the impact of these regulations will be different for every nonprofit – depending on factors such as whether it is a large institution paying large salaries or a smaller community-based organization, and whether its revenue model is based largely on contributions or earning funds through government contracts that may not pay the presumed increased costs – we recognize that the proposed rules will be more nuanced than ‘everybody in a diverse sector loves it or hates it.” That’s why we are encouraging each organization to do its own mission-based analysis of the impact on its own operations and those it serves and to share comments directly with the Department of Labor.”  (National Council of Nonprofits)

House Education and the Workforce Committee will conduct a hearing on Thursday, July 23 entitled, "Examining the Costs and Consequences of the Administration’s Overtime Proposal." We will keep you updated as this matter develops.

2. Senate Finance Committee: Tuesday, July 21, the Committee will “markup” a bill to renew and extend through next year 55 expired tax provisions, including the IRA rollover and the enhanced deductions for donations of food inventories and land conservation easements. Committee Chairman Hatch (R-UT) has made clear that he only wants to extend the expired tax provisions (the so-called “extenders package”) through 2016 and will require all amendments to be paid for. The Thune/Stabenow amendment does not have a revenue offset, but the Senators want the record of the markup to reflect the support that does exist for the charitable provisions and to keep the issues on the table for future consideration.

As always you can contact me with any questions or comments at or 302.777.5500

- John


Tags:  Department of Labor  National Council of Nonprofits  nonprofits  overtime  taxes 

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OMB Uniform Guidance is now the law of the land

Posted By John Baker, Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hi All –

I come to you today with an update on Nonprofits and Indirect Costs in Contract/Grant Applications and Proposals.

OMB Uniform Guidance is now the law of the land, but turning its promise of better treatment of charitable nonprofits into reality will take even more work going forward. Nonprofits in particular will need to take action to own their own costs, learn their rights under the new rules, and protect those rights through advocacy, both on their own behalf with each grant and contract, as well as by engaging with DANA’s efforts.

I post the below articles to make you aware of the OMB Uniform Guidance and inform you of the progress described in them.  The articles describe your rights under the new federal grantmaking rules.  We encourage you to take advantage of these rights. Here are three items we feel are most helpful in getting nonprofits the tools they need to get started:

·      The Word for Today is “Overhead”: OMB Uniform Guidance Takes Effect,” by Rick Cohen, National Correspondent (Nonprofit Quarterly, Jan. 13, 2015).

·      Know Your Rights … and How to Protect Them, an overview of the rights nonprofits now enjoy (when governments fully comply) and answers/solutions to anticipated challenges that may arise.

·      Uniform Guidance Implementation Report Form, designed to generate information from nonprofits in the field about compliance with the Uniform Guidance – whether positive or negative – that will help in monitoring compliance, compiling data and observing patterns that can be addressed at a government-wide level, as well as identifying good processes and solutions that can be used elsewhere to help nonprofits across the country meet their missions.

Again, I thank you for your support and look forward to working with you to see that these promises for change transform into reality.

As always you can contact me with any questions or comments at or 302.777.5500

- John

Tags:  charities  National Council of Nonprofits  nonprofits  OMB 

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America Gives More Act

Posted By John Baker, Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hi All –

Just want to make you aware of this opportunity to ask for our U.S. Senators’ support in passing this important “America Gives More Act” that reaffirms and enhances how Americans support the charities they care about.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions at or 302.777.5500.


Action Alert
Message to U.S. Senators

The Nonprofit Community Calls on the Senate to Pass the America Gives More Act in September

You can help by delivering this simple message:

Don’t leave Washington in September until the Senate passes the America Gives More Act (H.R.4719); our communities are counting on you.

You can deliver the message by:

  • Calling your Senators’ local or Washington, DC offices (202-224-3121)
  • Carper – Wilm. – 302.573.6291 , Dover – 302.674.3308
  • Coons – Wilm. – 302.573.6345, Dover – 302.736.5601
  • Texting your Senators the simple message
  • Writing your Senators (see sample letter)

Before U.S. Senators recess for the November elections, it is imperative that they pass the America Gives More Act, a bill to promote giving to the work of charitable nonprofits in communities across the country. Simply put, Senators should address the pressing needs of our communities before they focus solely on their personal political careers and their re-election campaigns.

            Act now to urge your Senators to pass the America Gives More Act in September.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the America Gives More Act in July by a strong, bi-partisan vote. The legislation promotes giving back to communities in several ways. It renews and makes permanent expired charitable giving incentives that promote donations of nutritious food to food banks, conservation of land, and contributions from individual retirement accounts directly to charitable nonprofits. The measure would simplify a foundation excise tax, thereby making more funds available for good works. The bill also would permit taxpayers to claim charitable deductions from the previous year up through April 15. Go here for more background information on the America Gives More Act.

Senators are back home in August for the annual summer recess. When they return to DC, there are barely a dozen legislative days left in September before Congress adjourns again for the November elections. This means that Senators must return to Washington in September committed to passing the America Gives More Act as quickly as possible. And they must make known to their Senate leaders their commitment to passing the bill that is important to their communities and constituents, before leaving D.C. again to campaign for re-election.

Tags:  America Gives More Act  charities  National Council of Nonprofits  nonprofits  Senator 

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IRS and 501(c)(4)s

Posted By John Baker, Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hi All –

Just want to update you on an issue that DANA has been watching and working on with our National Council of Nonprofits: the IRS’s proposed rules and comment period for these proposed rules. Our concern is that these proposed rules could result in the limitation of 501(c)(3)'s ability to promote their missions. Please see the summary of public comments filed by the National Council of Nonprofits in response to the proposed Treasury/IRS regulations involving 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations:

Treasury/IRS Proposed Regulations

  • Begin by identifying the core problem to be solved – the serious need for corrective action to stop the use of 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations for partisan political purposes, that is, among other things, causing confusion with and harming the work of 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits;
  • Present principles for solving the core problem in a way that protects and promotes rather than impedes the significant contributions that charitable nonprofits and social welfare organizations make in their communities;
  • Apply those principles by showing how the proposed regulations would negatively affect the ability of 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits to advance their individual missions and their collective role in ensuring a strong democracy; and
  • Conclude by calling on the Treasury Department and the IRS to withdraw the proposed regulations and begin anew with the guiding principles in mind, and by calling on Congress to address the significant statutory issues that are beyond the scope of rulemaking authority.

As always, if you have any questions or comments please contact me at or 302.777.5500


Tags:  IRS  National Council of Nonprofits  nonprofits  regulations  treasury 

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Win for Nonprofits in Federal OMB Grants reform

Posted By John Baker, Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hi All,

I recently received this great news that I want to share with you. After much heavy lifting by our National Council of Nonprofits and our partner nonprofit state associations around the country, the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released for public inspection "Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards", which will streamline federal grants rules and procedures.

To boil it down, the OMB is recognizing that it is important to include an appropriate administrative amount in their contracts with nonprofits. If you are, or will be, getting state or local funding that comes from the federal government (a.k.a.pass through funding) you can opt for the new automatic indirect cost rate of 10%. Other changes include: expanded eligible direct costs, more favorable audit rules, and standardized/streamlined applications and reports.

As our National Council of Nonprofits points out (summarized):

The new guidance means that nonprofits should be able to focus more on their missions and should be under less pressure to raise additional funds to support the work of a contract. In turn, charities with no government contracts or grants could see less competition for scarce philanthropic dollars. This is a major win for the entire charitable nonprofit community.

This will help all nonprofits, even if they don’t have government contracts, because those with contracts will not have to raise funds from private sources to cover the overhead that will now be included in their contracts with the government.

We hope you see the value and the power that is illustrated by this OMB Announcement. Working together with our colleague associations across the country, we have been able to make an impact on Federal contracting. They acknowledge that all organizations must cover their administrative costs if they are to continue to provide critical services. Together we are making our communities stronger.

I will keep you posted as I learn more in processing the 759 pages.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments, and I will get back to you upon my return from the holidays on January 6th.


Tags:  contracts  federal  grant reform  grants  National Council of Nonprofits  Office of Management and Budget  OMB 

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