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Thought Leader Uncategorized Philanthropy

From communities to Capitol Hill

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Alicia Philipp, president of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Alicia Philipp, president of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Philanthropy and politics – two words not often heard together. Or as many may think, should not be heard together. However, I believe they need to be. Last week, after spending a day on Capitol Hill with those who will work on tax reform, I am even more convinced of this.

I am so focused on charitable giving and the nonprofit sector that tunnel vision leads me to believe tax reform is all about charitable giving. Going to Capitol Hill reminded me that we are a small part of the tax law and not enormously revenue significant. Because of this, the education of policy makers is critical. And that crosses party lines.

While up there, I met with staff of both Republican and Democratic leaders and I would be hard pressed to remember which was which. I was impressed, and I admit surprised, by the lack of party rhetoric. There was just a genuine desire to learn.

These are very bright, committed folks who just are not fully versed on our sector. It is our job as nonprofit and civic leaders, board members, donors and those who care about the community to share our world with them. In fact, it is your voice that speaks more loudly than perhaps mine and the voices of my nonprofit colleagues. Your networks, your influence, your contributions to this community – they all make you a prime candidate to help bridge the gap.

So, together let’s mix philanthropy and politics and share our real world experiences with those in charge of large-scale, sustainable change.

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