What will Trump’s impact be on the non-profit sector?


I’ve been struggling with how to blog about President Trump and his administration, which isn’t even through its first 100 days in office (even though it feels like it has been a lot longer on some days). I literally had a blog post queued up to go live the week after the election, but I unscheduled it because it just didn’t feel right. In fact, when I came across that old draft post this morning, I opened it up, re-read it and promptly deleted all of it. I’m starting over and sharing my newer, evolved thoughts with you this morning. Please let me know what you think by using the comment box below. Thanks!


Lots has been said about President Trump and how his administration will impact the non-profit sector. The thing that strikes me as funny is that if you go back to those speculative news articles and online stories that started popping up in November and follow them through to current day, everyone seems to be right and at the same time wrong.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Perhaps, the best post I read immediately after the election was written by Dan Mollsen at American City Bureau (one of the oldest fundraising consulting firms in the country). He wrote the following:

Come 12:00 p.m. January 20, 2017 we will have a new President. I’ve been reading quite a bit about the ramifications of a Trump Presidency and a Republican-controlled congress on nonprofits. There appear to be three main concerns for nonprofits:

  1. Tax overhauls that would jeopardize tax breaks that encourage giving – he campaigned on capping all write-offs at $100,000 for single people and $200,00 for married – but there are powerful congressional leaders who won’t agree.
  2. Federal budget cuts to social service agencies – promotes cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. There will be cuts, but the depth is unknown. Most agree that Obamacare will be cut back, as will funding for civil rights, environmental protection and social welfare.
  3. Increased scrutiny and pressure on foundations to fill the voids created by those budget cuts.

Key your eyes on the major economic factors with the strongest relationship to individual charitable giving:

  1. Income levels
  2. Wealth/net worth
  3. Tax policies
  4. The S&P 500 (this is the strongest predictor of giving)

Truer words could not have been spoken in my opinion.

A wise person once told me when I was a college student studying planning that when the current state is chaotic, it is difficult to craft a vision or do much planning, but it isn’t impossible if you choose the right planning model. (For some reason, I’m stuck trying to figure out how to turn this into something that sounds like it came from Star Wars’ Master Yoda. LOL)

I think the reason why I have struggled with writing this blog post for so long about non-profits and Trump is because I felt compelled to write about how the next four years were going to be a disaster (and there is a compelling argument to be made) BUT my non-profit soul was conflicted and screaming:

“The Trump Administration will mark the beginning of a renaissance for the non-profit sector!”

Shocked? Wanna argue with me?  Awesome … please take that energy to the comment box below. If you are curious as to why I might hold this opinion, then I encourage you to stay tuned to tomorrow’s post. I’ll share a few thoughts as to why my intuition is telling me something very different than what many other experts seem to be saying.  😉

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

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About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on March 28, 2017, in nonprofit and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I still remember sitting at a local restaurant last summer with you and you were adamant, more matter of fact that Trump would win. I could not, did not want to, believe it. You were right.

    So here we are. I really agree with you that there is a new era for non-profits. I feel that now more than ever there is a sense of urgency felt for people to support local efforts, and national efforts, that fight and stand for what we believe in and what is most vulnerable. I work for a social and racial justice organization. A common comment we are hearing from donors, volunteers, prospects is “Wow, your mission is so important. NOW MORE THAN EVER during these times.”

    Also, with local organizing with various groups we are able to clearly see which prospects and donors we should spend our energy on and who we don’t. While there is cross over of people who voted Trump and still support us, we are able to find an entire new prospect pool in which we have a better idea on messaging.

    Sorry for the long post! Guess I felt chatty this morning.

    • Oh Rose … how I so miss you. You could always read my mind. Thanks for setting the stage for Wednesday’s follow-up post.

      • Corinne Pierog

        We can only hope that you are correct and the private citizen takes up the sustained burden of government. I only question if they have the commitment and ability to do so?

      • Thanks, Corinne. I have faith that the talented individuals working in the non-profit sector have the talent and passion to do so. Thanks for posing a great question. Maybe others have opinions that they will want to share.

  2. Oh may this be true! Can’t wait to hear about our renaissance.

  1. Pingback: How is Trump ushering in renaissance for non-profit sector? | DonorDreams Blog

  2. Pingback: Will your non-profit be a ‘winner’ or ‘loser’ during Trump era? | DonorDreams Blog

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