#EveryDonationCounts Toolkit: Advocate to Your Legislators

You are the best messenger to tell policymakers why your organization or community needs them to act now to create a fairer tax code that helps every American give to charity.

This toolkit includes the following:

  • Sample talking points for policymakers
  • Sample letter to policymakers
  • Graphics to share with your policymakers
  • Tool to tweet at your policymakers

Sample Talking Points

Incorporate these talking points into your own messaging with policymakers.

  • Charitable giving should be for everyone. Currently, the 10% of taxpayers who itemize receive a tangible reminder through the charitable deduction that their gifts count. It is time for Congress to send the same message to the other 90% of Americans.
  • Expanding giving incentives to all taxpayers creates a fairer system that helps all Americans, regardless of income, give back to their communities. In particular, the policy change will make it less expensive for low- and middle-income households to donate.
  • Making it easier for low- and middle-income people to give is needed to reverse an alarming trend. For every year we have data available since 2002, the number of donors has steadily declined, particularly among small- and mid-sized donors.
  • Secondary Message Based on Target Audience (to give policymaker a reason “why” they support the policy):
    • For Democratic policymakers: For example, charitable giving is a fundamental part of who we are as a nation. A continued decline in the number of people giving to charity could indicate that this common cultural thread that ties our communities together is unraveling. Extending charitable giving incentives to every taxpayer sends a powerful message, especially to younger generations, that charitable giving remains a key American value.
    • For Republican Policymaker: For example, a decline in low- and middle-income donors could lead to an erosion in public support for private charity, ultimately increasing demand for more government programs. We need to expand giving incentives to preserve a strong, independent charitable sector.
  • Luckily, this policy is supported by 74% of voters across the political spectrum.
  • Make the tax code fair, so it sends the message to all donors that their donations count. Please visit independentsector.org/everydonationcounts to learn more.

Sample Letter

Use this sample letter to communicate directly with your policymakers.

Dear Legislator:

I am writing to highlight the urgent need for Congress to make the tax code fairer and help every American to donate to charity. As your constituent, I am among the 74% of voters who support this policy.

Charitable giving should be for everyone. Currently, the few taxpayers who itemize their tax returns receive a tangible reminder through the charitable deduction that their donations count. Charities urgently need Congress to send the same message to the vast majority of Americans who do not itemize.

Expanding giving incentives to all taxpayers creates a fairer system that helps all Americans, regardless of income, give back to their communities. In particular, this policy will make it less expensive for low- and middle-income households to donate.

Expanding charitable giving tax incentives to non-itemizers also can help reverse an alarming trend. Research shows the percent of people giving to charity has steadily declined for many years, particularly among low- and middle-income households.

[INSERT PERSONALIZED/LOCAL STORY HERE]

New research shows that extending charitable giving incentives to every American could reverse this decline in donors and generate billions more dollars per year for charities to invest in their communities.

Please pass legislation as soon as possible to make the tax code fair and help every American give to charity.

Sincerely,

 

Graphics

Share these graphics with your policymakers by email, on social media, or in meetings.

 

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Tweet at Your Policymakers

With just a few clicks, you can tweet directly at your member of Congress. Visit Independent Sector’s Action Center.

Global Topics: Civil Society, Congress, Public Policy
Policy Issues: Charitable Deduction, Charitable Giving, Federal Budget & Fiscal Policy, Tax & Fiscal Policy
Resource Types: Toolkit