Annual event impacts thousands across the United States
On Thursday, April 19, more than 100 representatives from Goodwill organizations across the United States — including executives, volunteers, program participants, and other advocates — will speak with federal legislators and staff for Goodwill’s annual Advocacy Day. The “Goodwill on the Hill” event provides an opportunity for Goodwill to gain the support of elected officials toward its employment placement, skills training and educational programs.
Goodwill is dedicated to enhancing people’s dignity and quality of life by helping them reach their full potential through education, skills training and the power of work. Goodwill is a network of 162 independent, local organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Goodwill representatives will call on their elected representatives to support those who choose to support themselves, but often lack the necessary means, skills or training to do so.
This year, Goodwill has identified three key topics to discuss with lawmakers that align with its public policy agenda and have high importance to the people it serves. These include funding for job training programs, the impact of tax reform on the charitable giving deduction and Farm Bill reauthorization. Read more about each topic below.
- Funding – Goodwill urges lawmakers to protect funding for workforce development and job training programs. Congress will be working on fiscal year 2019 (FY19) funding, which begins October 1. The President’s budget proposal included dramatic cuts to many programs of interest to local Goodwill organizations and the people they serve.
- Charitable Giving – Goodwill seeks to expand charitable giving incentives. The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did not include a universal charitable giving deduction, and the nonprofit sector is concerned that with far more taxpayers taking the standard deduction (which was doubled), there will be a decline in charitable giving as those taxpayers would no longer be itemizing and not eligible for the deduction.
- Food Assistance (SNAP) – The Farm Bill, which governs a number of food and agriculture programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is due for reauthorization. Local Goodwill organizations may be engaged with SNAP either in the SNAP Employment and Training program, receiving SNAP referrals or incorporating SNAP along with other basic needs resources as part of their holistic approach to help people gain independence. Advocates will discuss areas of opportunity for Goodwill within SNAP and how the program intersects with workforce development and job training programs.
Although the topics above are priorities of the event, representatives from Goodwill organizations look forward to connecting with lawmakers and staff to share firsthand experiences and have general conversations around issues in their communities and plans for the future.
“For 116 years, Goodwill has been dedicated to helping people improve their quality of life through the power of work, and we anticipate another successful advocacy event that will help us continue to do so,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International.
A Virtual Advocacy Day will also occur on April 19th, allowing the general public to support Goodwill’s advocacy efforts. Follow @GoodwillCapHill on Twitter and reference #GoodwillOnHill in your tweets. You can also share or like posts on the Goodwill Industries International Facebook page at www.facebook.com/goodwillintl. Register for the Goodwill Industries International Legislative Action Center and send letters to lawmakers.