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Preserve Charitable Giving Incentives

by Brenda Peluso

Federal tax law currently encourages individuals to give to charitable organizations whose missions they support by providing an itemized deduction. Policymakers in Washington are focusing on how to reduce the federal budget deficit through spending cuts, entitlement reforms, and changes to the tax code. The President, Senators, Representatives, bi-partisan commissions, and think tanks have all put forward plans to address these issues, and all propose changing the charitable giving incentive in one way or another.

The National Council of Nonprofits is asking nonprofits all over the country to sign on to this letter below to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction who is conducting an across-the-board review of federal government spending, taxing, and entitlement programs in search of law changes that will result in $1.2 trillion in federal deficit reduction over ten years.

The Letter:

Dear :

The undersigned nonprofit organizations urge the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to expressly preserve the charitable giving incentive for individuals so that charitable contributions can continue to support the vital programs and services on which communities and policymakers rely.

The work of nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, as reflected by the diverse organizations identified below, improves lives, strengthens communities and the economy, and lightens the burdens of government, taxpayers, and society as a whole. Nonprofits employ more than 13 million individuals nationally and contribute more than five percent to the Gross Domestic Product of the United States. Your constituents recognize the vital and ongoing work of nonprofit organizations in delivering essential services, enhancing their quality of life, and uplifting the spirit of faith, innovation, and inspiration in local communities across America.

The Joint Select Committee will undoubtedly be considering cuts in federal spending and reforms to tax laws and entitlement programs. Those changes could undermine the ability of nonprofits to maintain programs and services, much less to expand them to meet the increased needs that will result from the lagging economy and policy choices being made at all levels of government. Under these conditions, nonprofits may not merely be the next place for people in need to turn; we are likely their only place to turn. Charitable nonprofits across America must be able to count on the current tax incentives for charitable giving if there is to be any validity in the presumption of policymakers that nonprofit organizations will be there to fill the gaps.

It is imperative that Congress make no changes to the charitable giving incentive that threaten the ability of nonprofit organizations to serve those most in need and to continue to strengthen our communities. We ask that you avoid endangering the ability of nonprofits to serve your constituents and our communities by making a clear statement in support of the charitable deduction and in opposition to proposals to reduce or cap the value of deductions for charitable contributions.

Sincerely,

Sign the Letter by Wednesday, October 26th

For more information about this campaign and the current status of the various proposals to change charitable giving incentives, visit The National Council of Nonprofits website.

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