Public Policy

Michigan Nonprofit Association's public policy efforts aim to:

  1. Advocate on behalf of the Michigan nonprofit sector on public policy issues that impact all nonprofits;
  2. Provide the tools and resources to be effective advocates and lobbyists;
  3. Educate policymakers and the media on issues affecting Michigan nonprofits.

Policy Priorities

The following Guiding Principles and Policy Framework have been adopted by the Board of Trustees to guide the public policy efforts of the Michigan Nonprofit Association. With a focus on issues that affect the broader nonprofit sector, including regulation of nonprofits and tax policy, the Policy Framework also includes issues that represent the values of the nonprofit community, such as voting accessibility and open government. These Guiding Principles and Policy Framework will be used as the basis for development of MNA’s annual policy agenda with specific legislative and/or regulatory recommendations.

Guiding Principles

Michigan Nonprofit Association:

  • Is the voice for Michigan’s nonprofit sector on the state and federal levels
  • Actively advocates on issues that affect Michigan’s nonprofit sector as a whole, or affects significant portions of the sector
  • Does its policy work directly, in coalition with others, and engages the nonprofit community to advocate on behalf of the sector
  • Informs Michigan’s nonprofit community of local, state and federal sector-wide issues that may affect them
  • Builds the capacity of nonprofits to advocate
  • Educates policymakers on the scope and purpose of the Michigan nonprofit sector
  • Promotes the continuum of civic engagement in particular promoting volunteerism and giving participation

Policy Framework

Best Practices and Accountability

  • Enhance the ability of Michigan nonprofits to function at the highest levels of integrity, efficiency, and transparency and be accountable to the public they serve
  • Oppose regulation that prevents nonprofits from meeting their missions

Charitable Giving

  • Preserve and enact policies that incentivize citizens to donate to Michigan nonprofits

Tax Treatment of Nonprofits

  • Promote and advance policies that preserve tax exemption of nonprofit organizations

Nonprofit - Government Relations

  • Improve and strengthen the interface between Michigan nonprofits and state and federal government agencies and processes, in particular to maximize the opportunities for public-private partnerships

Talent Development

  • Expand and strengthen incentives for people to work/ serve in the Michigan nonprofit sector as professional staff or volunteers

Advocacy and Lobbying Rights

  • Protect the advocacy rights of all 501(c)(3) organizations and strengthen the ability of Michigan nonprofits to engage in the public policy arena

State Budget

  • Support sufficient government revenues to provide adequate services and mitigate harmful budget reductions in the areas of P-20 education; creative sector; environment and natural resources; and health and human services, and to support reasonable growth over time

Voter Participation

  • Ensure that all Michiganders have full access to voting. Support the right of 501 (c)(3) nonprofits to conduct nonpartisan voter registration, voter education and voter engagement efforts


  • Ensure an open and transparent redistricting process that provides meaningful opportunities for nonprofit and public involvement

Term Limits

  • Support efforts to repeal or amend legislative term limits

Political Action Committees

  • Monitor the impact of 501 c (4) organizations and PACs on the nonprofit sector and its right to advocate


  • Support nonprofit efforts to partner with the Census and ensure that Michigan communities are counted


  • Promote volunteerism and national service programs as a strategy to meeting community needs
  • Promote adequate government funding of the Michigan Community Service Commission and the Corporation for National and Community Service

Government Grants and Contracts

  • Promote government streamlining of application and reporting, and improved access to grants and contract information. Support government reimbursement of nonprofit indirect costs

Data Access

  • Support regular access to transparent state and federal data that allows for thorough and timely analysis of the scope and economic benefits of Michigan’s nonprofit sector