Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) is a two-day event for foundation executives and staff, board members and philanthropic leaders to meet with their federal lawmakers in Washington. Hosted by the United Philanthropy Forum, the gathering brings foundation leaders to DC for meetings with Congress about key issues of importance to foundations and philanthropy. Annually, CNJG brings a delegation of members to meet with representatives of New Jersey's Congressional offices.
The overall purpose of Foundations on the Hill is to:
- Inform and educate Congress about philanthropy
- Advocate on issues affecting foundations
- Build CNJG’s relationships with lawmakers and their staff
- Create visibility for foundations and philanthropy on Capitol Hill
- Encourage Congress to view foundations as resources on key public policy issues
The last Foundations on the Hill took place Monday, March 9 to Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Hosted by United Philanthropy Forum, FOTH brings foundation leaders from throughout the country to Washington DC for meetings with Congress about key issues of importance to foundations and philanthropy. The overall goal is to communicate to members of Congress and their staff the important role that foundations and philanthropy play in serving the public good. It is also an opportunity for CNJG to reinforce and strengthen the relationships we have developed with our representatives and their staff in the past.
This year, our CNJG delegation included Kimberly Boller/The Nicholson Foundation, William V. Engel/The Hyde and Watson Foundation, Andy Fraizer/Community Foundation of South Jersey, Jeremy Grunin/The Grunin Foundation, Brianna Suarez/Victoria Foundation, Michael Unger/The Atlantic Foundation, Nelida Valentin/Princeton Area Community Foundation, Lucy Vandenberg/The Fund for New Jersey, and CNJG staff Maria Vizcarrondo and Theresa Jacks. We were also pleased President and CEO Linda Czipo, Center for Non-Profits joined our delegation once again. Linda’s voice helps elevates our discussions about the nonprofit sector and philanthropy’s work to support the sector.
While the coronavirus was just beginning to shut down Washington DC, we were able to meet with the majority of our representatives’ offices including meeting directly with Congresswoman Watson Coleman, Congressmen Malinowski and Smith, and Senator Menendez.
During our meetings we discussed our support for tax policy that encourages charitable giving, including the universal charitable deduction; philanthropy cannot fill the gaps left by changing government policy and funding; and the need to ensure census data is secured and protected as required by law. We also thanked our representatives for supporting simplification of the private foundation excise tax on net investment income and repealing the tax on transportation/parking benefits for nonprofits as part of the year-end passage of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020.