urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

The Election and the Economy: What's Ahead for Civil Society?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Noon-1:30 ET

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Audio Recording

As Americans head to the polls in a roiling economy, a special Election Day edition of the First Tuesday series takes stock of what changes on Wall Street, Main Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue will mean for the nation’s 1.8 million nonprofits, the people they serve, and civic engagement.

Stock market turmoil, ballooning federal deficits, sinking housing prices, and forecasts of a serious recession have unsettled personal and nonprofit finances from coast to coast. The National Center for Charitable Statistics’s Tom Pollak will mine the data for insights into nonprofit reserves, financial markets and endowments, wealth and giving, economic contraction and rising needs, and more.

At the core of John McCain’s and Barack Obama’s economic platforms are decidedly different tax agendas with differing potential effects on philanthropy. Tax analyst Roberton Williams will explain how the candidates’ positions on the estate tax and income taxes will foster or frustrate donations.

Paul Light, an expert on nonprofit effectiveness and public confidence in nonprofits, will discuss what nonprofits can do to fulfill their missions, meet increasing needs, and survive. He will also look at how the policy opportunities afforded by a new administration might help nonprofits.

Shirley Sagawa, who drafted legislation creating the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps, will scan the legislative landscape for openings and obstacles that the proposed Serve America Act and other bills will have to negotiate to pass. What can Congress do in these trying times to boost national service, community involvement, and social entrepreneurship?


Elizabeth Boris
Elizabeth Boris
(moderator), director, Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, Urban Institute; coeditor, Nonprofits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict  

Paul Light
Paul C. Light
, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service, Robert Wagner School of Public Service, New York University  

Tom Pollak
Tom Pollak
, program director, National Center for Charitable Statistics, Urban Institute  

Shirley Sagawa
Shirley Sagawa
, coauthor, The Charismatic Organization: Eight Ways to Grow a Nonprofit; former managing director, Corporation for National and Community Service  

Roberton Williams
Roberton Williams
, principal research associate, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

- Bios (pdf)
- National Center for Charitable Statistics: data guide (pdf)
- The Search for Social Entrepreneurship (book flyer, pdf)
- The Charismatic Organization (book flyer, pdf)
- Urban Institute Press books on the nonprofit sector (book flyer, pdf)

At the Urban Institute
2100 M Street N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C.

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