Members Highlights

Here is where members update one another with their latest news and campaigns.

Happy Tax Freedom Day New Zealand!

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
27 May 2016

Today is 2016 “Tax Freedom Day”. At 11:12am this morning the average New Zealanders will stop working for the government and for the first time this year begin working for themselves.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Tax Freedom Day is based on OECD figures showing that general government total outlays are now equivalent to 40.0% of the economy. That means that up until today Kiwis have effectively been working for the Government.”

“On behalf of the thousands of Kiwis who are members and supporters of the Taxpayers’ Union, we would like to wish every New Zealander a Happy Tax Freedom Day.”

New Zealand’s 2016 Tax Freedom Day is 15 days later than Australia, three days later than Canada, and later than all the years Helen Clark was Prime Minister.

More information about Tax Freedom Day is available at

Read more

Targeting Foundation Prospects in 7 Steps

Section: Fundraising Tips / Members Highlights / WTA Blog
27 May 2016

by Ann C. Fitzgerald and DAVID MCLAUGHLIN

The first step in successful fundraising is identifying prospects. When it comes to grantmaking foundations, nonprofits tend to have an overabundance of prospects, but a dearth of strategic steps. In order to create the best strategies to solicit foundations, begin with a strong research plan.

  1. Assemble your tools. FoundationSearch and Foundation Directory Online are two fee-based options that make foundation research much simpler. If you are on a tight budget, visit Here you will see the locations of Foundation Center offices, as well as libraries and universities where you can get free access to Foundation Directory. Free resources such as Guidestar and the Grantsmanship Center provide access to the foundations’ tax returns (Form 990-PF), grantwriting tips and funders by state.
  2. Know your organization. This may seem obvious, but it’s a critical step. In some organizations, the development and program staffs are less integrated. Fundraisers must understand their nonprofit’s mission and vision, as well as the priority projects that require funding.
  3. Identify your competitors and who funds them. Competing nonprofits often lead you to foundation prospects. Using the databases mentioned above, review the foundations that are supporting your competitors.
  4. Compile basic information to aid in decision-making. To determine if you have identified a good prospect, weigh several factors such as the foundation’s giving interests, its grants to like-minded groups, its giving restrictions and its board members.
  5. Take your list and cut it down. That’s right. Hone the list so that you are targeting your top five to ten best foundation prospects. Success with foundations is not about volume. It’s about carefully matching your mission to the foundation’s philanthropic interests and beginning a conversation.
  6. Create detailed profiles for top prospects: Focusing on your five to ten prospects, flesh out a detailed profile including the foundation’s contacts, history, grants and deadlines. Consider calling a friendly competing nonprofit that receives a grant to get additional insights.
  7. Map out the strategic steps. If you’ve done your homework, you are ready to approach the foundation. In some cases, the first step is to submit a short letter of inquiry. Ideally, you can take a more personal approach through a call or meeting. Your objective is to learn more about the interests of the foundation and lay the groundwork for submitting a proposal.

With a little time, patience and focused activity, foundations can become an important, long-term source of revenue for your nonprofit organization.

If you would like assistance in identifying foundation prospects, please contact us.

Read more

Book Recommendation: Catching Capital: The Ethics of Tax Competition by Peter Dietsch

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
27 May 2016

Rich people stash away trillions of dollars in tax havens like Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, or Singapore. Multinational corporations shift their profits to low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland or Panama to avoid paying tax. Recent stories in the media about Apple, Google, Starbucks, and Fiat are just the tip of the iceberg. There is hardly any multinational today that respects not just the letter but also the spirit of tax laws. All this becomes possible due to tax competition, with countries strategically designing fiscal policy to attract capital from abroad. The loopholes in national tax regimes that tax competition generates and exploits draw into question political economic life as we presently know it. They undermine the fiscal autonomy of political communities and contribute to rising inequalities in income and wealth.

Building on a careful analysis of the ethical challenges raised by a world of tax competition, this book puts forward a normative and institutional framework to regulate the practice. In short, individuals and corporations should pay tax in the jurisdictions of which they are members, where this membership can come in degrees. Moreover, the strategic tax setting of states should be limited in important ways. An International Tax Organisation (ITO) should be created to enforce the principles of tax justice.

The author defends this call for reform against two important objections. First, Dietsch refutes the suggestion that regulating tax competition is inefficient. Second, he argues that regulation of this sort, rather than representing a constraint on national sovereignty, in fact turns out to be a requirement of sovereignty in a global economy. The book closes with a series of reflections on the obligations that the beneficiaries of tax competition have towards the losers both prior to any institutional reform as well as in its aftermath.

Find it on

Read more

Institute for Economic Studies – Summer Seminar on Political Economy

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
20 May 2016

Summer Seminar on Political Economy
July 05 – 10, 2016
Aix-Marseille Université • Avenue Robert Schumann • Aix-en-Provence, France.

In 2016, IES-Europe will bring back the spirit of these meetings to life and invite people from all over Europe and beyond to join distinguished speakers from the fields of economics, philosophy, history, and law, for what will be IES-Europe first edition of an open summer seminar that will mix intellectual stimulation with friendship in a sunny and convivial atmosphere.

Read more

Europe Liberty Forum – Atlas Network & Institute for Economic Affairs

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
20 May 2016

Europe Liberty Forum
8 June 2016 (All day) – 9 June 2016 (All day)
London, United Kingdom

Co-hosted by Atlas Network and the Institute of Economic Affairs

Atlas Network and the Institute of Economic Affairs are delighted to host the first annual Europe Liberty Forum. Champions of free people and free markets from across Europe and the United States are invited to London for two days of leadership development, sharing of best practices and discussion of the policy battles that lie ahead.

The conference will include keynote addresses and breakout sessions, superior networking opportunities and friendly competition among think tanks. The Europe Liberty Forum Gala Dinner on the evening of the 9th will feature Atlas Network’s announcement of 2016 Europe Liberty Award winner.

Read more

Tobacco tax hike: It’s all about the money

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
20 May 2016 | New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union / New Zealand

New Zealand

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union have written a report entitled the Passive Income: How the Government Uses Smokers as Cash Cows.The report details the effect of tobacco excise increases, the failure of the Government to legalise the sale of healthier alternatives which would minimise harm, and the misuse of taxpayers’ money given to not-for-profits which lobby the government.

Politicians claim higher tobacco taxes are necessary to promote better health, but the Government has prevented the sale of new generation smoking alternatives such as e-cigarettes which are 95% less harmful and are the most popular smoking cessation tool used in England.

While politicians cry crocodile tears about the harms of smoking, they are refusing to allow the sale of healthier alternatives. It appears the only reason is to protect the revenue stream from the taxes on traditional cigarettes.

From today, a $20 20-pack of cigarettes includes nearly $16 dollars of tax


It makes a complete mockery of the National Party’s election promise not to increase taxes.

Increases in tobacco excise tax are often held up as interventions that are effective at reducing consumption amongst low socio-economic groups. However, significant tax increases have coincided with an increase in the socio-economic smoking gradient. Counterintuitively, the poor are the least likely to respond to tax hikes. That means they, and their families, go without.

Just because a consumer base is poor, it does not mean that the Government is any more justified in making consumer health choices for them. Worse, increasing taxes well in excess of the health costs of tobacco, knowing that they are being paid by those least able to afford it, is morally questionable.

Read more

New Book Recommendation – Chicagonomics: The Evolution of Chicago Free Market Economics

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
8 May 2016 | Lipa / Croatia


Chicagonomics explores the history and development of classical liberalism as taught and explored at the University of Chicago. Ebenstein’s tenth book in the history of economic and political thought, it deals specifically in the area of classical liberalism, examining the ideas of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, and is the first comprehensive history of economics at the University of Chicago from the founding of the University in 1892 until the present. The reader will learn why Chicago had such influence, to what extent different schools of thought in economics existed at Chicago, the Chicago tradition, vision, and what Chicago economic perspectives have to say about current economic and social circumstances.

Read more