Chronicle Opinion: What the Election Results Mean to Nonprofits

The Chronicle of Philanthropy (November 8, 2006) published the opinion of Leslie Lenkowsy, a professor of public affairs and philanthropic studies at Indiana University, on the implications of the November 7 election on the nonprofit sector.  Among what Professor Lenkowsy sees in her crystal ball:

  • With respect to influencing Congress, nonprofit groups with strong ties to Democrats (e.g., Independent Sector and OMB) will gain, and those with strong ties to Republicans (e.g., Council on Foundations) may lose.
  • Higher education will benefit.
  • The Senate Finance Committee’s push "to tighten laws and regulations affecting nonprofit accountability and political involvement" will not change.
  • The House’s Ways and Means Committee may be more aggressive about its examination of nonprofits, and, in particular, nonprofit hospitals.
  • No increased spending on federal programs that support nonprofits.
  • Proposed legislation that would help religious charities gain greater access to government and private aid may go by the way side.
  • Passage of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative banning affirmative action (Proposal 2, which was patterned after California’s Proposition 209) is likely to strengthen critics of affirmative action policies.
  • Attorneys Generals may take a cue from Elliot Spitzer’s win in New York (Spitzer boosted his reputation by scrutinizing abuses in the nonprofit sector).
  • Supreme Court Justices Ginsberg and Stevens could retire while the Democrats have a majority in the Senate.