As a nonprofit leader, you need to take time out this summer to rest and rejuvenate, so you’re ready to tackle the most pressing problems facing your communities. Yet, we need you to take a quick break from your beach book to help us send a clear message to Congress that we need a fairer tax system that helps all Americans — regardless of income — give back to their communities.
Some Americans receive a clear message from the federal government that their donations matter, but the vast majority do not. Last week we got a powerful reminder why every voice, and every donor, matters. The release of the Giving USA 2019 told us, without a shadow of a doubt, that the current tax code is posing a perilous threat to charitable giving in America.
Adjusted for inflation, overall giving in 2018 is down more than one percent – in a strong economy. Perhaps even more critically, the pipeline of givers in our nation is shrinking as the number of low- and moderate-income givers continues its decade-plus slide. Declining numbers of people investing in local communities and the nonprofits that serve them should be alarming to all who care about the health of civil society in America.
August recess is one of the best opportunities we have to make sure that members of Congress are hearing the voices of nonprofit advocates across America. Please take a moment out of your summer to visit or contact your Congressional delegation members while they are in their districts. Let them know that it is urgent that the Congress expand giving incentives to all Americans, regardless of income or itemizer status. Expanding giving incentives creates a fairer tax system. Expanding giving incentives can help reverse a decline in donors that is accelerating. Expanding giving incentives will help all Americans, regardless of their income, give back to their communities so that all people living in the United States can thrive.
You are, and always will be, the best messenger to your members of Congress. Independent Sector is striving to make it as easy as possible for you to step into that essential role. This toolkit will give you all you need – a sample letter, talking points, and graphics to share with your policymaker. We have even included a tool to help you tweet at your delegation members. All you need to add is your “signature.”
I don’t typically like to ring the alarm bell – especially as you settle into the beach chair for some much-needed summer get-away time. But charitable giving is under threat. Congress needs to protect this American value – and there is no one better suited to convince them of that than you.
The beach chair, the book, and the cool drink will still be waiting for you. Promise.
Thanks, as always, for spending some time with the latest edition of Voices for Good. Have a great summer.