Towards a Proactive Long-Term Federal Tax and Budget Initiative
In December 2003, OMB Watch released a paper citing the need for a proactive initiative promoting long-term action on federal tax and budget issues - to push for what we as a community want in federal tax and budget policy. We used this paper as a tool to begin discussions with a variety of people and groups.In addition, we developed and conducted an Internet survey and held "strategy meetings" in March and April with a diverse mixture of nonprofit leaders in Columbia, S.C., Chicago, Seattle, Phoenix, Ariz., and Philadelphia. We also began work on a Tax and Budget Resource website to provide easy access to the great resources that already exist on these issues.
The following links provide more information about the paper, the survey, and our new resource page. We have also included the PowerPoint presentation used at the meetings. We will be adding summaries of the strategy sessions as approved, and more updates to keep you informed as we go forward.
For more information on the project, please see:
- Background Paper: Moving Towards Long-Term Action on Tax and Budget Issues (.pdf)
In June, OMB Watch hosted a national retreat of approximately 60-70 nonprofit leaders from national, state, and local organizations to determine next steps for the project.
In addition to OMB Watch staff, the planning committee for the retreat included:
- Nancy Amidei, Civic Engagement Project/Univ of WA
- Bruce Astrein, AZ Community Foundation
- Chuck Collins, United for a Fair Economy
- Lois Canright, United for a Fair Economy (WA)
- Mike Ettlinger, Economic Policy Institute (EARN)
- Erin Hardwick, SC Assn of Nonprofit Organizations
- Ed Jayne, AFSCME
- Iris Lav, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities
- Christina Macklin, MN Council of Nonprofits
- Ellen Nissenbaum, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities
- Kristin Pula, Institute for Washingtonï¿½s Future
- Mark Schmitt, Open Society Institute
- Debbie Weinstein, Coalition on Human Needs
DC Area Brown-Bag
On April 15th, we hosted a brown-bag lunch for nonprofit organizations in the DC area to let people know about our progress on this initiative.
- Brown-bag presentation (.ppt)
Presentation for "Prevent Child Abuse America" 2004 National Conference
On May 17th, we gave a workshop presentation (.ppt) about the short- and long-term budget picture and this initiative.
Regional Strategy Sessions
The hosts for the sessions were as follows:
- Columbia, South Carolina March 12, 2004 -- South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations
- Chicago, Illinois March 22, 2004 -- Voices for Illinois Children
- Seattle, Washington March 23, 2004 -- Civic Engagement Project / University of Washington; Institute for Washington's Future; and United for a Fair Economy
- Phoenix, Arizona March 24, 2004 -- Arizona Community Foundation
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania April 28, 2004 -- Center for Responsible Funding
NEW! Summaries of the strategic planning sessions are below.
- Chicago, Illinois Summary (.pdf)
- Columbia, South Carolina Summary (.pdf)
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Summary (.pdf)
- Phoenix, AZ Summary (.pdf)
- Seattle, Washington Summary (.pdf)
To put some of the numbers in perspective, we have developed a Power Point presentation that gives an overview of the OMB Watch planning process, the long- and short-term federal budget situation; and also discusses the survey results in more detail. This power point presentation was used at the regional strategy sessions mentioned above.
- Planning a Long-Term Proactive Tax and Budget Campaign (.ppt)
In January and February 2004, OMB Watch conducted a survey of nonprofit organizations and other individuals over the Internet. There were 709 respondents to the on-line survey, representing a wide range of nonprofit organizations. The Internet survey was to determine 1) in what activities nonprofit organizations are actively engaged on tax and budget issues, 2) how important people think it is to engage in a longer-term planning and action on tax and budget issues, 3) on what issues should a campaign focus, and 4) what are the challenges to making such a long-term campaign successful, and the needs of groups who might participate.
Broadly speaking the survey shows a consistent pattern. The nonprofit organizations represented in our sample are concerned with the overall tax and budget situation and appear to follow developments at the state and local levels, but are not yet as active in communicating with policymakers, the media, or even their members and the public.
There is strong agreement as to some of the goals of the campaign as identified in the survey, and a wide range of activities were cited to be important. The survey also identified a number of challenges that must be overcome -- most importantly coordination and leadership. It also identified a variety of resources that would help get groups more involved -- including message development and a variety of informational needs, including dissemination.
- Survey Questions / Results (.pdf)
- Survey Analysis (.pdf)
We have also analyzed the survey results comparing service providers to other respondents:
- Service Providers Survey Results (.ppt)
90 percent of survey participants agreed that "it is time to launch a long-term campaign on federal tax and budget issues." We agree, and think it is essential to keep the momentum going. If you would like to continue to be a part of a long-term agenda, send an email to email@example.com with the following text in the body of the message: "subscribe taxbudgetaction [your name]"; and you will be added to our email list.
Tax and Budget Resource Center
As part of our longer-term effort, we have also begun to develop a web-based Tax and Budget Resource Center. Please feel free to poke around and let us know what you think.