A project of the Michigan Nonprofit Association
In 1992, Michigan voters passed an amendment to the Michigan Constitution limiting House of Representative members to three, two-year terms and senators to two, four-year terms of office. This action resulted in considerable turnover in the Michigan legislature with little institutional knowledge about the relationship between government and philanthropy that would otherwise have developed over time. Public policy makers do not usually have a depth of background knowledge about the nonprofit sector or issues involved in growing and maintaining a charitable sector, so high turnover rates were of concern to nonprofits interested in maintaining and furthering relationships between the government and the charitable sector to maximize public good.
In response to this new reality, the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF), and the Michigan Association of United Ways worked together to establish the Michigan Nonprofit Caucus in 2009. This was the second caucus of its kind in the nation, following Pennsylvania. The Michigan Nonprofit Caucus provides a bipartisan, bicameral space where lawmakers and nonprofit leaders can work together on legislative and regulatory issues affecting the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit leaders work with the caucus to inform them about the role, benefits, and challenges of the nonprofit sector so that legislators can make more informed decisions that benefit both the charitable sector and communities as a whole.
The Michigan Nonprofit Caucus is a part of three formal joint ventures with state government to facilitate understanding between government and the charitable sector. The other two joint ventures include the Michigan Nonprofit Council for Charitable Trusts and the Governor’s Office of Foundation Liaison.
Video: Watch leaders discuss the Michigan Nonprofit Caucus: