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Before you celebrate, ADVOCATE!

by Mary Erin Casale

UPDATE : Thanks to your hard work, the IRS the Treasury Department and IRS announced that it is withdrawing the proposed Gift Substantiation regulation. The withdrawal of the flawed regulatory proposal is very good news for the public, for donors, and for the nonprofit community. The government was convinced that its proposal would have contributed to identity theft and was out of line with all other instructions from law enforcement agencies and the nonprofit community regarding the need to keep Social Security numbers private.


The victory also demonstrates that the comments from concerned citizens swayed the thinking and actions of government officials, providing clear proof that engagement in advocacy generally, and in the regulatory process specifically, is both vital and effective.


The next few days are about thankfulness and gratitude…and maybe a little last minute Giving Tuesday prep! But before you set up your automatic vacation email, we wanted to tell you about a new proposal from the IRS. And we’re urging you to take three minutes to tell the IRS the impact their proposed regulations could have on your organization.


Can you even imagine asking your donors for their social security numbers?

The IRS is suggesting just that.

Under new rules proposed by the US Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, nonprofits could be allowed to participate in a record-keeping system that asks for personal information like Social Security Numbers from donors who give more than $250. While the system would be voluntary, we think this could be a burdensome and troubling development for nonprofits. A similar mandatory proposal was considered and rejected in the past based on numerous legal, policy, and confidentiality problems it raised.

What can you do?

  • Read and learn more! The National Council of Nonprofits has great information on these proposed regulations.
  • Submit comments to the IRS! You have until Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 10:59 pm to tell the IRS what asking for your donors’ SSNs could do to your individual giving plan.

Our friends at the National Council of Nonprofits have even provided a list of considerations and concerns and sample comments. Okay, now go and enjoy your holiday!

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