Legislative Statement

The Legislative Statement is MCF's compendium of public policy goals, policy statements and policy positions. Our long term policy goals are to promote prosperity for all Minnesotans through inclusion and equity and to promote philanthropy and charitable giving.

Issues of interest are described by general policy statements that are supported by more specific policy positions establishing the focus for our advocacy to advance these issues. The policy statements and policy positions in the Legislative Statement are developed by MCF's Government Relations and Public Policy Committee and are approved by its Board of Directors. They reflect the interests of MCF's members as expressed through the work of issue-based member networks, collaborative grantmaker initiatives and Minnesota grantmakers' funding priorities.

 

 

CREATE A MORE PROSPEROUS, INCLUSIVE AND EQUITABLE MINNESOTA BY ELIMINATING DISPARITIES.

Preserve and strengthen democratic systems and civic engagement to relieve barriers of structural racism or economic inequality that limit civic engagement through voting, elections, judicial practices and Census and American Community Survey. [Adopted: 12/2013, Renewed: 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]

Positions:

  1. Census and the American Community Survey. Promote inclusion and equity through full participation in the decennial Census and American Community Survey to ensure fair representation and allocation of resources, and access to complete and reliable data to support community engagement, planning and economic development. [Adopted: 12/2013, Renewed: 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  2. Felon Re-Enfranchisement. MCF supports the right to vote for convicted felons who are not incarcerated and are living in the community on probation, parole or other provision for community release. [Adopted: 3/2014 – Expires: 3/2017.]
  3. Voter Engagement. Promote expansion and protection of voting rights, including easier voter registration through reforms such as automatic voter registration. [Adopted: 1/2016 – Expires: 3/2019.]

 

Eliminate race and other demographics as predictive factors in educational achievement through systemic changes that meaningfully engage the most affected communities and serve students throughout Minnesota. [Adopted: 1/2015 – Expires: 12/2017.]

Positions:

  1. Early Childhood Education. Establish a statewide system of early childhood education to assure that all young Minnesotans are physically, socially and cognitively prepared for school and lifelong learning. [Adopted: 12/2013, Renewed: 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2017.]
  2. Out of School Time Learning. Establish a statewide system for providing afterschool and summer learning programs designed to close opportunity and achievement gaps, develop 21st Century skills, and support families by providing safe and productive activities for out-of-school engagement. [Adopted: 1/2015 – Expires: 12/2017.]
  3. English Language Learners. Implement systemic reforms* enabling English language learners to succeed and reach their full potential while also supporting the goal of building a talented, highly-skilled workforce to compete in a global economy. [Adopted: 1/2015 – Expires: 12/2017.] * Minnesota’s LEAPS Act [Learning for English Academic Proficiency and Success]

 

Support policies that create a prosperous economic climate with a skilled workforce with opportunities to dramatically increase the number of adults, especially people of color, earning family-sustaining wages. [Adopted: 12/2015– Expires: 12/2018.]

Positions:

  1. Career Pathways. Close skill gaps and meet evolving workforce needs by supporting continued improvement and investment in programs that include a career pathway strategy for basic skill instruction, job training and support services. [Adopted: 12/2015– Expires: 12/2018.]
  2. Standardized Outcome Reporting and Evaluation. Improve efficiency, effectiveness and equity in Minnesota’s workforce development system through continued improvement and investment in standardized, low –cost performance reporting and net impact evaluation. [Adopted: 12/2015– Expires: 12/2018.]
  3. Improve Outcomes for Remedial Students. Improve outcomes for students taking remedial courses to support success in post-secondary education and training through consistent measurement and evidence-based program development. [Adopted: 12/2015– Expires: 12/2018.]

 

Promote disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and long-term recovery policies and procedures that involve marginalized communities, respond to their needs, and define a realistic and effective role for philanthropy. [Adopted: 12/2013, Renewed: 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2017.]

Positions:

  1. Disaster Response in Minnesota. Educate and develop state policy initiatives to promote disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and long-term recovery policies and procedures that involve marginalize communities, respond to their needs, and define a realistic and effective role for philanthropy. [Adopted: 12/2013, Renewed: 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2017.]

 

EXPAND PHILANTHROPY, CHARITABLE GIVING AND MINNESOTA’S COMMUNITY OF GRANTMAKERS.

The Minnesota Council on Foundations creates public trust for philanthropy by advancing policies that promote effective, ethical and accountable practices that are consistent with MCF’s and companion publications. [Adopted: 12/2014 – Expires: 12/2017.]

Positions:

  1. Accountability and Communication. When it presents a useful and reasonable opportunity to improve practices, support regulation of accountability and communication practices reflected in MCF’s Principles for Grantmakers and companion publications. [Adopted: 12/2014 – Expires: 12/2018.]
  2. Compensation. When it presents a useful and reasonable opportunity to improve practices, support regulation of compensation practices reflected in MCF’s Principles for Grantmakers and companion publications. Support consistent application of rebuttable presumption standards to all grantmakers. [Adopted: 12/2014 – Expires: 12/2018.]
  3. Administrative Expenses. Support recognition of administrative expenses that allow grantmakers to conduct their work effectively and responsively and in a manner consistent with MCF’s Principles for Grantmakers and companion publications. Oppose further restrictions on allowable expenses that qualify for payout requirements. [Adopted: 12/2014 – Expires: 12/2018.]

 

MCF affirms philanthropy and charitable giving as essential expressions of civic engagement in a democratic society that should be valued and promoted through tax policies and regulations. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]

Positions:

  1. Promoting Charitable Giving. Support state and federal tax laws that maximize opportunities for increasing charitable giving. Balance this support with consideration for sustaining government’s capacity to be a partner in supporting services that are critical to achieving inclusion and equity. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.     a. Charitable Giving Tax Deduction. Support full value deduction for itemized charitable contributions. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]     b. Adjusted Gross Income Limits. Support adjusted gross income limits to determine eligibility to claim charitable tax claims or credits. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]    c. IRA Rollover. Support IRA rollover as a charitable giving tax incentive for all philanthropic organizations and funds. This includes applying this incentive to promote contributions to donor advised funds. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]    d. Non-Itemizer/Alternative Minimum Tax Charitable Deduction. Support a charitable deduction for individual taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions or pay Alternative Minimum Tax. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  2. Transfer Taxes. Support wealth transfer taxes, such as the estate tax and gift tax, which have rates and thresholds that maximize opportunities for increasing charitable giving. Balance this support with consideration for sustaining government’s capacity to be a partner in supporting services that are critical to achieving inclusion and equity. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  3. Tax Credit for Community Endowments. Build the long term capacity of community foundations and nonprofits organizations by supporting tax credits for contributions to permanent endowments held by community foundations. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  4. Payout Rules. Support payout rules that do not impinge on a grantmaker’s ability to carry out its mission, grantmaking and fiduciary responsibility in a manner that optimizes community impact. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  5. Impact Investing. Support grantmakers’ ability to prudently invest assets in activities that directly advance their mission and community impact. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  6. International Grantmaking. Support equivalency and expenditure responsibility in international grantmaking that promotes and facilitates grantmaker engagement in international grantmaking in ways that express compassion, are culturally relevant and promote impact. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  7. Donor Advised Funds and Stewardship Services. Support fund management tools that provide donors of all income levels and varied cultural practices the opportunity to participate in philanthropy through the stewardship services of community foundations or other supporting organizations. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  8. Excise Tax. Support a flat rate excise tax for private foundations to support accountability and community impact through effective grantmaking. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  9. Unrelated Business Income. Support ability to generate unrelated business income. Exempt income or losses from S Corporation stocks held by charities from unrelated business income tax. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  10. Sales and Property Tax Exemptions. Support exemptions from sales or property taxes for Minnesota charities. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]
  11. Conformity. Support conformity in federal and state tax policies when it promotes efficiency and charitable giving and philanthropy. [Adopted: 12/2014; Renewed 12/2016 – Expires: 12/2019.]

 

MCF advances policies that enable the nonprofit and philanthropic community to fulfill its role in strengthening communities and sustaining a thriving democracy. [Adopted: 12/2014 – Expires:12/2017.]

Positions:

  1. Independent Sector Impact. Support establishment of federal systems for documenting the impact of the independent sector, integrating the sector into policy and planning, and providing technical assistance to support the sector’s development and impact. [Adopted: 12/2014 – Expires: 12/2017.]
  2. Advocacy, Public Policy and Lobbying. Support the rights of charities, including private foundations, to participate in advocacy, public policy and lobbying, while maintaining prohibitions from participating in political activities. [Adopted: 12/2014 – Expires: 12/2017.]
  3. Shifting of Public Costs. Oppose shifting the responsibility for government programs to the independent sector, particularly without considering the capacity of philanthropy and nonprofit organizations to accommodate proposed changes. [Adopted: 12/2014 – Expires: 12/2017.]
  4. Nonprofit Excellence. Support opportunities to promote public trust for the nonprofit community by advancing policies for effective, ethical and accountable practices that are consistent with Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence. [Adopted: 12/2014 – Expires: 12/2017.]
  5. Adequate Resources for IRS. Support adequate resources for the IRS to provide oversight of tax exempt entities that promotes development, responds to the growth in the tax-exempt sector and prevents abuses. [Adopted: 12/2014 – Expires: 12/2017.]

Public policy positions adopted by MCF are the positions of the Council and not of its individual members. 

For more information, contact MCF's director of public policy and communication Bob Tracy at btracy@mcf.org or 612.335.3558, or program manager Katina Mortensen at kmortensen@mcf.org or 612.335.3597. 
 
"Change-oriented mission statements - by necessity - require a foundation to pursue public policy efforts that attempt to fundamentally change how the system operates." - Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., CEO and president of Silicon Valley Community Foundation (formerly CEO and president of The Minneapolis Foundation and MCF board member)
 
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