Using our Voice
Each year a joint committee representing Foraker’s Governance and Operations Boards analyzes issues affecting the Alaska nonprofit sector. The committee uses the criteria below in its analysis, and then recommends to the Governance Board during the annual meeting in January those issues it feels should be pursued in the coming year.
Impact: Does this issue affect the interests of the nonprofit sector in a significant way, positively or negatively? Does it affect the entire sector, or a vast majority of the sector? Is it primarily a local issue but with a high potential for future sector-wide impact? Generally speaking, an issue has sector-wide impact if it has broad relevance to the creation, management, operation, administration, and well being of nonprofit organizations in Alaska.
Partner Support: Is there already, or could Foraker reasonably anticipate there will be, a general level of support among Foraker Partners on the position to be taken? Gauging Partner support is not expected to be onerous or statistically rigorous. Instead, it will rely on a simple process that takes advantage of the connections and networks that exist among staff, Partners, the Operations Board, and the Governance Board. The key is to connect with individuals who broadly represent the various sub-sectors in Alaska’s nonprofit community. While there are many ways to check the nonprofit perspective on potentially relevant issues, the primary tool for doing so will be the Foraker Operations Board.
Credibility: Would Foraker as an organization be perceived as a legitimately concerned and appropriate advocate for the position to be taken? The answer to this question best comes from the Foraker Governance Board through its public policy committee.
Organizational Capacity: Does Foraker have the financial and human resources to engage in the required advocacy?
Nonprofit leaders have more opportunities than they may realize to present points to legislators and other decision makers about the value of the sector in Alaska and the benefits we bring to our communities. Foraker has drafted “talking points” that you may use when you meet with decision makers — or when you’re visiting with the public or community groups. Feel free to use these points, and of course, to tell the stories of ways your organization works in the community.
Do your board and staff need ideas on how to serve as advocates for the sector and your organization. We’ve added some thoughts for you on ways to do that, too.
You’ll find both sets of “talking points” here.
- Ensure a fair and accurate Alaska count in the 2020 Decennial Census and annual American Community Survey (ACS)
- Defend and protect the nonprofit sector at the federal level of government
- Advance a comprehensive state fiscal plan
- Move the Single State Audit process to a risk-based culture and process to save time and money for Alaska
- Assist Alaska voters in making informed choices when casting their ballots for gubernatorial and legislative candidates based on the issues important to the nonprofit sector
- Formalize the presence of a sustainable nonprofit liaison position in the Governor’s office
- Challenge local taxation and fees on nonprofits throughout Alaska
- Raise the profile of nonprofit pay equity disparity in Alaska and the nation
If you have questions or comments on our public policy agenda, please contact Mike Walsh, Foraker Vice-President and Director of Public Policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.