Did you walk on the sidewalk, drive on a road, eat in a restaurant, or drink clean water from your faucet today?
I did all those things and more to get to work, enjoy time with friends and did not once think about how my life, my friends and communities depend on public services and how they get paid for. And I doubt that my friends are thinking much about taxes, except that they are due in less than a month.
Yet, thinking or not thinking about what role taxes play in our lives is what will determine if our communities will have the financial resources to improve education, increase green jobs, make affordable health care become more affordable. As someone who works in a nonprofit I know that almost all of the nonprofits that are providing services in our community are only able to do this because of the taxes each of us pay.
Lots of our taxes go towards the common good, and some of it goes to further wars and mass incarceration, and we should have a say in how local, state and federal funds are spent. We can’t have a say if we don’t think about taxes, and we can’t think about it alone if we want our government to be about the common good.
That’s why we are getting people to talk about, and form their own opinions about what taxes should pay for, and how we as nonprofits need to be a more powerful voice for revenue solutions- If we don’t, several important revenue measures, won’t get passed in November. Our workshop, “Nonprofits Talking Taxes”
is a two hour session that is being held for free at nonprofit workplaces, and one can be given at your organization. So far over 3,000 nonprofit folks have gone through this workshop. A few participant comments:
“This was a great conversation. Thank you! There is a lot I still have to learn, but I feel more confident in posing state budget and tax questions to my friends, family and coworkers as a result of attending the workshop.”
“I thought the notion of taxes reflecting a society's values was powerful and effective.”
“The workshop was unexpectedly fun”
I think it’s a great way to engage everyone who works for or volunteers in a nonprofit to connect the dots between the things they care about and better tax policies. Many of us have are already organizing for solutions, so having many more people engaged and forming their opinions about taxes will make a difference- ultimately, people in our communities will connect their shared values to the best solutions.
You can request a workshop or sign up for a free webinar at www.nonprofitstalkingtaxes.org
or you can attend a free workshop in Oakland coming up soon.
Thursday, April 12
with presenter Kim Klein
1904 Franklin St. 3rd Floor Conference Room
Oakland, CARegister here!
Steve Lew is a Senior Project Director for CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and works with organizations in creating strategic plans, fund development plans, and board development plans. He is Director of the Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color, an 8 month training and coaching series offered in collaboration with the Grassroots Fundraising Journal.