HANO raises the sector's profile and engages directly with the Legislature, city and county councils and other county policy makers on the critical issues that impact all nonprofit organizations.
HANO's Public Policy Work on Behalf of the Nonprofit Sector
Public policy affecting nonprofit organizations – at the federal, state or local level – is ever-changing. Sometimes, public policy enhances the nonprofit sector’s ability to deliver on the many missions that strengthen communities. Sometimes, public policy hinders that ability.
Disturbing trends across the country remind us that nonprofits are not immune from this form of government scrutiny. We have seen increased taxation of nonprofits, revoked tax-exemptions, more regulation and late or reduced payments on government contracts. During the recent economic downturn, governments, hard-pressed to identify revenue sources, often look to the nonprofit sector to make up their budget deficits.
Before HANO’s launch in 2006, no voice represented nonprofits at the decision-making table when public policies affecting the nonprofit sector were discussed. Since then, HANO has emerged as the sector’s advocate – tracking the issues and suggesting ideas for good public policy to improve the operating environments for the state’s 7,000-plus nonprofits.
To support Hawaii nonprofits, HANO:
- Fought legislative proposals in three successive years that would revoke the General Excise Tax exemption for nonprofits.
- Opposed the removal of real property tax exemptions for nonprofits.
- Proposed and joined a task force created by the Legislature to address government contracting problems faced by nonprofits.
- Worked to repeal a cap on the state income tax charitable deduction.
- Sent consistent, positive messages – in person and through the news media – stressing the value and importance of Hawaii’s nonprofit sector as partners to business and government.
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