President Obama’s Inaugural Speech gave hope to the nonprofit sector for 2013. Along with global warming, lack of post-partisanship between political parties, and gay rights, a major theme of his address was that the election was not about him, but about the American people.
Obama stated in his inaugural speech: “If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election.” So if we as an American people are able to successfully make our voices and needs heard, what can we expect from President Obama concerning the nonprofit sector in the next 4 years?
National Volunteer Week
- Obama has made it clear that volunteerism will play a vital role in his presidential term. He established National Volunteer Week which encourages citizens to participate in helping their local community. The President and his family also contribute to the local community directly by offering their volunteer services through schools in Washington DC
Adequate Budget for Nonprofits
- Along with increasing funds for development in fighting AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, Obama has made a budget plan for the nonprofit sector that provides adequate spending throughout the year without as many budget cuts for groups such as the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities
Even More Volunteer Opportunities
- Shortly after taking office, Obama signed in the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which takes one of America’s biggest nonprofit volunteer organizations, AmeriCorps, and plans to over triple its available volunteer members to 250,000 volunteers by 2017
- Service opportunities for elderly and youth have been expanded upon while making the programs available to said groups more cost-effective and accountable
Cap on Charitable Tax Deductions
- Obama has also called for a cap on charitable tax donations made by donors of nonprofit organizations in order to reduce the budget deficit. Nonprofit leaders have spoken out against this cap due to a concern that donors will make less large contributions to nonprofits if it makes less financial sense to do so. A Huffington Post blog explains the situation as: “Wealthy individuals give generously and they readily accept their civic responsibility through contributions to charity. Their corresponding deductions are simply equal to their tax rate.”
- Last year Obama and his family donated over 20% of his annual income — $172,000 — to charity. Over $100,000 of that went directly to the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit low-cost housing opportunity available to families of injured military personnel. Obama’s charity does not stop there, however. Obama also teamed up will Republican Bill O`Riley to raise over $750,000 for Fisher House Foundation, showing the Presidents concern for nonprofits and volunteers in his second term
- It is reported that President Obama’s two terms worth of fundraising have netted his committee $1.4 billion dollars. In turn, Obama helped out his connected committees by raising them $1.2 billion dollars. His uncanny ability to fundraise mass amount of money in a short period of time was used to help Obama fundraise for matters he personally cares about. An example would be last yearObama Classic Basketball Game, which raised close to $3 million towards the NBA lockout that took place last year.
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