Non-profit

Independent Sector

Website:

independentsector.org/

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax ID:

52-10881024

President:

Dan Cardinali

Formation:

1980

Independent Sector is an organization that advocates for left-of-center nonprofit organization administration policies, such as tax deductions for donors to nonprofits and laws that limit political speech activity by limiting donor privacy. [1]

Despite its funding by left-progressive foundations and general alignment with left-of-center policies, Independent Sector sought carve-outs for non-profit organizations from a Labor Department rule expanding overtime pay eligibility. [2]

Finances

In 2018, Independent Sector received $7,810,916 in contributions and $8,823,477 in total revenue through program service and investment income. [3] In 2018, Independent Sector reported $28,036,818 in net assets. [4]

In 2018, Independent Sector received contributions from a number of left-of-center organizations. Independent Sector received $400,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,[5] $200,000 from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation,[6] $100,000 from the Annenberg Foundation, [7] $42,500 from the California Endowment,[8] and $12,500 from the California Health Foundation. [9]

Advocacy

Opposition to Overtime Policies

In a 2019 letter to the Department of Labor (DOL), Independent Sector president Dan Cardinali opposed increasing the numbers of individuals in the United States who qualify for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Highlighting the increased expense of providing overtime to employees in the nonprofit sector, Cardinali stressed that DOL should create exemptions to the rule for nonprofit organizations. [10]

Support for Johnson Amendment

Independent Sector successfully lobbied in support of retaining the Johnson Amendment in 2017. The Johnson Amendment prevents both nonprofits and religious organizations from endorsing political candidates. [11]

Nonprofit Political Activity

Independent Sector advocates for the IRS to provide more clarity on how nonprofits that are permitted to engage in some political activity should conduct themselves to maintain their tax-exempt status. [12]

Value of Volunteer Time Report

Independent Sector produces a highly cited “Value of Volunteer Time” report. The report estimates the value in dollars per hour that society receives as a result of volunteer services initiated by non-profits.

Many organizations across the country, in providing a statement of the benefits that inure from their activities, reference this report. Currently, the Independent Sector report claims that the value to society that flows from every hour of volunteer services initiated by a non-profit is equivalent to $27.

Donor Disclosure

Independent Sector acknowledges the importance of donor anonymity as an element that incentivizes charitable giving. Nonetheless, Independent Sector has opposed the right to donor privacy in the case of advocacy donations secured by the holding in the United States Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC and advocates for legislation to limit the decision. Specifically, Independent Sector advocates for disclosure requirements that limit political speech freedoms by requiring donor disclosure for donations above a specific amount given to organizations that engage in electoral campaign activity. [13]

Leadership

Dan Cardinali is the president and CEO of Independent Sector. Before joining Independent Sector, Cardinali was the president of Communities in Schools, an organization that lobbies for increased federal spending on education and entitlement programs to prevent students from dropping out of school in  low-income communities. In 2018, Communities in Schools spent $679,656 lobbying for increased entitlement spending. [14]

References

  1. “About Us” Independent Sector. https://independentsector.org/about-us/ ^
  2. “Comments on Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1235-AA20, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees” Independent Sector. https://independentsector.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Overtime-regulation-comments-2019-Independent-Sector.pdf ^
  3. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax” Guidestar.org. Accessed November 11, 2020. Part I, Line 8-12. ^
  4. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax” Guidestar.org. Accessed November 11, 2020. Part I, Line 22. ^
  5. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax” Guidestar.org. Accessed November 11, 2020. Part XV. ^
  6. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax” Guidestar.org. Accessed November 11, 2020. Part XV. ^
  7. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax” Guidestar.org. Accessed November 11, 2020. Part XV. ^
  8. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax” Guidestar.org. Accessed November 11, 2020. Part XV. ^
  9. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax” Guidestar.org. Accessed November 11, 2020. Schedule I. Part II(a)(82). ^
  10. “Comments on Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1235-AA20, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees” Independent Sector. https://independentsector.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Overtime-regulation-comments-2019-Independent-Sector.pdf ^
  11. “Johnson Amendment” Independent Sector. https://independentsector.org/policy/policy-issues/johnson-amendment/ ^
  12. “Nonprofit Political Activity” Independent Sector. https://independentsector.org/policy/policy-issues/political-activity-rules/ ^
  13. “Donor Disclosure” Independent Sector. https://independentsector.org/policy/policy-issues/donor-disclosure/ ^
  14. “About us” Communities in Schools. https://www.communitiesinschools.org/about-us/ ^
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Independent Sector


Washington, DC