American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), otherwise known as the federal stimulus package,
authorized $787 billion of funds in “stimulus” money for the United States economy. The majority of the funds
available for nonprofit organizations are available through one of two funding streams: formula dollars (an
expansion of dollars available in currently-existing programs) and competitive grants. A list of available competitive
grants and corresponding grant application requirements and deadlines (where known) is available online at
www.michigan.gov/recovery. Frequently Asked Questions about the stimulus monies and answers to those
questions are available on MNA’s website at www.mnaonline.org.
Charitable Tax Deductions in President’s Budget Proposal
President Obama has indicated that he will issue a budget proposal that will include a stipulation to reduce the tax
incentives for charitable contributions by taxpayers earning more than $250,000 in order to raise the funds
necessary to implement health care reforms. Estimates on how much this decreased tax incentive would cost
nonprofits in charitable donations range from $1.63 billion to over $7 billion per year. While the potential of such a
drop in charitable giving is of concern to the nonprofit sector, at the same time, charitable organizations face
enormous challenges in finding resources to pay the rising costs of health care for the employees who are essential
to carrying out their work for communities. They also see firsthand the consequences to people coming to their
organizations for services who are unable to afford health care coverage.
State Budget Update
The state of Michigan continues to struggle under a deficit that is both structural and cyclical. At the end of April,
the state’s revenue experts estimated a deficit of $1.3 billion for the remainder of the fiscal year; projections into
next year are not looking much better. The Governor released an Executive Order on May 5, making a list of
recommendations to balance the state budget for the remainder of the year. One of the items currently being
debated at the State Capitol that would affect many nonprofit organizations is the proposed elimination of the
Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL). The Governor’s Budget Recommendation for FY 2009-2010 would
distribute HAL programs to six different state departments; a recently unveiled bipartisan package of bills would
close HAL and transfer its programs to the Department of State (Secretary of State).
Uniform Prudent Investment of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA)
SB 411 (Sen. Switalski), called the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA), is a
replacement of and modernization to the current Uniform Investment of Institutional Funds Act (UMIFA). Among
other items, the bill would remove the current requirement that organizations not spend down or accumulate
money in their endowment funds (the value of which is calculated according to quot;historic dollar valuequot;). Instead of
requiring that organizations hold the historic dollar value of their fund(s) steady and spend appreciation and
income, this bill recognizes that the current economic climate has changed the way institutional funds should be
handled for the long-term benefit of the organization holding those funds, and allows organizations to spend or
accumulate money in their endowment funds as long as such changes are handled quot;prudentlyquot; according to the
mission of the organization.
quot;No Reason Absentee Voting” Bills
HB 4367 (Rep. Stanley) passed the Michigan House of Representatives on April 30. The bill would implement quot;no
reason absentee voting,quot; meaning voters would not be required to provide a reason or justification for requesting
an absentee ballot. Additionally, registered voters could apply for and return absentee ballots to their clerks by
mail, in person, by fax, or by email.
Serve America Act
President Obama signed the Serve America Act into law on April 21, 2009. The Act will dramatically expand national
service opportunities to address America's most pressing challenges. The House and Senate both passed this bill
with an overwhelming bipartisan majority vote; the bill authorizes a massive expansion of national service
programs for Americans of all ages, but implementation is tied to the availability of funds. The President is expected
to release a detailed budget for Fiscal Year 2010 in May.
Public Good IRA Rollover Act (S 864) Introduced in U.S. Senate
Senators Dorgan (ND-D) and Snowe (ME-R) introduced the companion bill to HR 1250 that extends and expands the
availability of the IRA charitable giving incentive. It would extend the current IRA rollover permanently, remove the
current dollar limit on donations per year, and expand the types of organizations that may receive rollovers.
Michigan Nonprofit Caucus Launched in Michigan Legislature
The Michigan Nonprofit Caucus, officially launched in April 2009, is a bipartisan, bicameral forum through which
lawmakers can lead and collaborate on legislative and regulatory issues impacting charities and foundations in
Michigan. The caucus will focus on issues that globally impact the nonprofit sector, monitoring and taking a
leadership role on legislative issues that impact Michigan's nonprofit sector and serving as a resource for
information on the sector for their fellow legislative colleagues. Co-chairs of the caucus include Senator Hansen
Clarke (D-Detroit), Senator Mark Jansen (R-Gaines Township), Representative John Proos (R-St. Joseph) and
Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit).
Michigan’s Nonprofit Sector Employs 1 in 10 Workers
Michigan’s nonprofit sector generates $108 billion each year in economic activity according to the 2009 Economic
Benefits of Michigan’s Nonprofit Sector report, commissioned by the Council of Michigan Foundations, Michigan
Nonprofit Association and the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University and compiled by Public Sector
Consultants. There has been a 14% increase in the total number of nonprofits organizations in Michigan since 2001,
and total employees of nonprofits have increased 2.6% since 2006. The full report, along with a database of the
results that is searchable by type of nonprofit and geographic region, is available online at www.mnaonline.org.
Nonprofit Day now Michigan Nonprofit Lobby Day
Nonprofit Day, formerly a conference day mostly focused on training, will now be a more purposeful lobby day,
providing updates on state policies impacting nonprofits as well as opportunities for nonprofit representatives to
meet with legislators about issues of importance to their organizations and Michigan's nonprofit sector. Join your
nonprofit colleagues from across the state on September 22, 2009 in Lansing for Michigan's annual nonprofit lobby