The Charitable Giving Coalition sent a letter today to newly-elected members of Congress urging them to protect the full value and scope of the charitable deduction as budget and tax-related legislative items are considered. See the full text of the letter below.
On behalf of the Charitable Giving Coalition, a diverse group representing private and community foundations, their grantees and independent charities, as well as nonprofit organizations and the associations and umbrella groups that serve their needs, we would like to congratulate you on your successful campaign and welcome you to Washington, D.C.
As Congress prepares to take up the budget, tax reform and other issues impacting tax policy, we strongly urge you to preserve the full scope and value of the charitable deduction. This unique, powerful incentive encourages contributions that allow our organizations to serve individuals, families and communities in your state and throughout the country. Proposals that would impose a cap or a floor on the deduction, or any other limitations, would impede the effectiveness of this vital incentive to give back to communities.
The charitable deduction is unique among itemized deductions in that it encourages individuals to give away a portion of their income to those in need. It promotes a selfless act, and it encourages taxpayers to donate more funds to charities than they would otherwise give.
A calculation of the deduction suggests that those in need receive $2.50 of benefit for every $1 of tax benefit going to the donor. In 2013, Americans gave over $335 billion to support charitable causes according to Giving USA, much of which is claimed as a charitable tax deduction.
Furthermore, nonprofit organizations that rely on charitable gifts to provide valuable services to communities have a powerful impact on the American economy. These organizations generate $1.1 trillion every year in the form of jobs and services. One in 10 U.S. workers is employed by the nonprofit sector, which provides 13.7 million jobs. Employees of nonprofit organizations received roughly nine percent of wages paid in the U.S., and the nonprofit sector paid $587.7 billion in wages and benefits.
Limiting the value of the charitable deduction would inhibit the ability of charities to serve Americans and communities across the country. As charities struggle to raise additional funds to meet increased demands for their services, we ought to encourage Americans to be more generous, not signal that giving is less important. We look forward to working with you and your staff on this issue.
Association of Fundraising Professionals, Chair
Agudath Israel of America
Alliance for Charitable Reform
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
American Alliance of Museums
American Institute for Cancer Research
American Jewish Committee
American Red Cross
American Society of Association Executives
Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts Action Fund
Association of Art Museum Directors
Association of Christian Schools International
Association of Direct Response Fundraising Counsel
Association of Gospel Rescue Missions
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy
Children’s Hospital Association
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative
Council for Advancement and Support of Education
Council for American Private Education
Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
Council on Foundations
Detroit Zoological Society
DMA Nonprofit Federation
Educational Media Foundation
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
The Field Museum
Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee
Girl Scouts of the USA
Goodwill Industries International
Jewish Federations of North America
Land Trust Alliance
League of American Orchestras
National Association of Independent Schools
National Catholic Development Conference
National Catholic Educational Association
National Council for Behavioral Health
National Council of Nonprofits
National Panhellenic Conference
North American Interfraternity Conference
Partnership for Philanthropic Planning
Performing Arts Alliance
The Philanthropy Roundtable
Saint Louis Zoo
Theatre Communications Group
United Way Worldwide
Volunteers of America
YMCA of the USA