Deleted for Budgetary Reasons Campaign

Empty Minnesota Capitol chamber with empty seats, the American and Minnesota state flags, and statues of prominent former Minnesota legislators.

In 2006, the state’s budget crisis was again in full swing. Governor Tim Pawlenty had pledged not to raise taxes, and it appeared that only cuts would be on the table for consideration during budget negotiations. For nonprofits, that meant cuts to critical services needed by Minnesota’s most vulnerable populations. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits maintains an ongoing position that sound budgeting practices should be balanced and not harm the most vulnerable citizens.

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits partnered with The Minneapolis Foundation for a second time (after the Think Twice Campaign in 2002). Deleted for Budgetary Reasons, a visually arresting print ad campaign, was the result. Four advertisements ran in daily, community, and specialty newspapers throughout the Twin Cities region and in several Greater Minnesota markets. The ads  powerfully illustrated the impact of proposed cuts on individual lives. The campaign focused on children, working families, seniors, and public safety, although the impact of the proposed cuts wouldaffect virtually all Minnesotans, with the most vulnerable among us bearing the brunt of the “pain.”

Deleted for Budgetary Reasons Campaign

The campaign was designed to stimulate public discussion; neither the ads nor the campaign website suggested specific proposals or alternatives. It was a welcome step, judging from the community’s overwhelmingly positive response. In addition to feedback from members of the general public and nonprofit organizations, the media certainly took note, as well. Editorials in
the Star Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Duluth News Tribune, Rochester Post-Bulletin, and St. Cloud Times all used the ads and the campaign’s background material as an entré to call for alternatives to the Governor’s plan.

The four ads directed readers to a website, which provided summary information on the impact of the proposed cuts, tips for effectively contacting legislators and the Governor, copies of the ads, and resources from both organizations.

Institutions of purely public charity that are exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are exempt if they meet the requirements of this subdivision. In determining whether real property is exempt under this subdivision, the following factors must be considered:

  1. whether the stated purpose of the undertaking is to be helpful to others without immediate expectation of material reward;
  2. whether the institution of public charity is supported by material donations, gifts, or government grants for services to the public in whole or in part;
  3. whether a material number of the recipients of the charity receive benefits or services at reduced or no cost, or whether the organization provides services to the public that alleviate burdens or responsibilities that would otherwise be borne by the government;
  4. whether the income received, including material gifts and donations, produces a profit to the charitable institution that is not distributed to private interests;
  5. whether the beneficiaries of the charity are restricted or unrestricted, and, if restricted, whether the class of persons to whom the charity is made available is one having a reasonable relationship to the charitable objectives; and
  6. whether dividends, in form or substance, or assets upon dissolution, are not available to private interests.