WASHINGTON, D.C.— In response to the recently released Q2 giving data from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, which shows a 7.5 percent increase in giving in the first half of 2020, the Charitable Giving Coalition (CGC) released the following statement:
The most recent charitable giving data from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project that indicates an increase in giving and donors in the second quarter of 2020 is welcome news to the Charitable Giving Coalition and a signal that the temporary universal charitable deduction (UCD) enacted in March is working.
The FEP report shows a 7.5 percent increase in overall charitable giving and a 7.2 percent increase in the number of donors for the first half of 2020, as compared to the same time in 2019. When compared to the Q1 2020 data released earlier this year, which showed a decline in both giving and donors in the first three months of the year, it’s clear second quarter giving made up for those declines and then some. Notably, the biggest increase in gifts came from those donors giving $250 or less at 19.2 percent.
Although it is not unusual for the number of donations to increase in periods of greater need, historically the greatest percentage increase has been in the number of donations of $1,000 or more. Instead, giving in the second quarter of this year reversed that pattern, and the percentage increase of donations under $250 was three times greater than the percentage increase in the donations of $1,000 or more.
While there are many factors that could have contributed to the uptick in giving, especially in small-dollar gifts, one contributing factor was likely the UCD that was enacted as part of the CARES Act in March. The temporary UCD is capped at $300 and applies to cash gifts only, but it is intended to incentivize more giving as nonprofits continue to face budget cuts and increased demands for services.
What we know for sure is that every taxpayer who gave and contributed to these encouraging giving increases will receive at least some tax deduction, which democratizes charitable giving and civil society generally.
Although the CGC is very encouraged by the uptick in donations, especially from those who may be taking advantage of the above-the-line deduction, American charities continue to struggle during the pandemic. The CGC is working with lawmakers to extend the UCD to have even greater impact, and it encourages Congress and the Administration to enact further COVID relief legislation that includes priorities of the nonprofit sector.
The Charitable Giving Coalition
Representing private and community foundations, their grantees and independent charities, the Charitable Giving Coalition’s members include United Way Worldwide, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities USA, the American Council on Education, Jewish Federations of North America, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Independent Sector, the Council on Foundations, and The Philanthropy Roundtable, among others. Formed in 2009, the coalition is dedicated to preserving the charitable giving incentive that ensures that our nation’s charities receive the funds necessary to fulfill their essential philanthropic missions. The coalition provides a unique and unified voice on Capitol Hill on issues affecting the charitable deduction, a voice composed of both direct lobbying and robust grassroots advocacy. www.charitablegivingcoalition.org, @CGC_DC