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President's Perspective: A Time to Advocate
President's Perspective: A Time to Advocate

CASE is on top of policy proposals affecting education, advancement

By Sue Cunningham

Daniel Peck

Heraclitus was right. The Greek philosopher is known for having said, "Change is the only constant in life."

The United States has a radically different administration than it did a few months ago. Britain and the European Union are preparing for a dramatically altered world post-Brexit. Those are but two of the seismic shifts that will have profound implications for the people advancing education.

Unfortunately, these shifts seem to come saddled with acrimony, with "winners" and "losers" still locked in debate, rather than finding a productive way to move forward. While we may sometimes find it easier to strike adversarial positions, we should instead model what our students are learning: to be thoughtful, open, and honest and to work through our differences—whatever they may be—on behalf of the common good and a better society.

CASE firmly believes that education can transform lives and society. At times of turbulence, this is even more important. Amid the current change, we need increased advocacy for policies that allow us to act effectively and with integrity to champion the success of educational institutions. CASE is responding to this challenge by enhancing our advocacy efforts in order to better support our members in this arena.

We are paying close attention to emerging policy changes across the globe. For example, in Washington, D.C., the new administration's desire to pursue comprehensive tax reform could endanger a number of our highest priorities. Caps and other limitations on the charitable deduction, the elimination of the estate tax, as well as new spending requirements and/or taxes on endowments are all possibilities in tax reform. Such proposals may hamper the ability of institutions to raise and manage private support at a time of significant budgetary and financial challenges.

In England, we are working with a cross-sector of educational fundraisers to negotiate the best outcomes for education resulting from a new independent fundraising regulator, whose purpose includes establishing a "fundraising preference service to enable individuals to manage their contact with charities." Depending on how it is set up, the service has the potential to seriously hinder the work of educational fundraisers.

In China, we are monitoring the impact of a new law that may limit the work of foreign nongovernmental organizations inside the country and seeking to understand how this may affect our members.

These and myriad other issues have our rapt attention this year. We will continue to be vigilant on our members' behalf and aim to partner with others who share our vision.

More than ever before, CASE stands ready to seize the opportunities that come with change. If you are similarly inspired, tell us why and join our efforts. I'd love to hear from you.

About the Author Sue Cunningham Sue Cunningham

Sue Cunningham is the president of CASE. Follow her on Twitter at @CunninghamCASE.




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