to Philanthropy Journal
Rev. Larry Snyder
organizations that depend on the generosity of donors are currently facing an urgent
threat as Congress considers proposals that will upend
the charitable tax deduction.
Senate Finance and House Ways and
committees have presented tax reform
options to modify the charitable deduction as they consider overhauling
America’s tax system. The Charitable Giving Coalition, a group of more than 60 diverse nonprofits,
foundations and other charitable organizations serving communities across the
nation, is working to ensure there is a clear understanding of how tampering
with the charitable deduction could impact giving and hurt those who need help
According to a new report issued by Giving USA, those who
itemized their charitable contributions made up 81 percent of the total estimate (nearly $229
billion) for giving by individuals in 2012. If lawmakers reduce the value of the deduction, other research
shows that billions in donations
would be lost each year and vital services and jobs could be cut or eliminated.
millions who depend on a network of highly effective, compassionate
organizations across the country that provide jobs, economic development, food,
shelter and more.
instance, on an annual basis, Catholic Charities USA’s network of
local agencies across the country raises more than $679 million of contributed
income. In fact, many rely on individual
donors for more than half of their contributed income to provide funding to:
● Meet the
needs of the more than 10 million people that come to their doors for help and
hope, regardless of race or religious background.
nearly 66,000 and engage more than 311,000 volunteers annually.
● 50 million
● 25 million
nights of lodging.
● 30 million
articles of clothing.
graduates from addiction recovery programs.
relies on the generosity of Americans to provide food, disaster relief,
assistance for the disabled and support for disadvantaged children, the elderly
and the homeless.
organization delivers assistance to:
● 30 million
Americans in 5,000 communities with its 70,000 officers and employees and 3.3
60 percent of the $2.8 billion in donations received by The Salvation Army in
the United States in 2011 came from individual donors. Some Salvation Army
units receive more than 75 percent of their funding from individual donors.
America, some 1,200 United Way chapters:
● provide critical services for up to 52 million people.
● employ more than 9,300 people and help mobilize 2.87 million
volunteers each year.
estimates indicate that limiting the charitable tax deduction could reduce
giving by a minimum of 2.5 percent for United Way. That translates to $104
million, or 1.3 million fewer times that United Way could provide job training
for an unemployed worker, home care for an elderly citizen, supportive housing
for a single mother or a mentor/tutor for an at-risk youth.
the recession started, Jewish United
agencies experienced a 368 percent increase in demand for community support
● more than
16,000 households with $13.7 million in emergency cash to pay for food,
housing, healthcare and other critical needs.
throughout America are sources of inspiration, jobs and economic activity:
● more than 52
million visitors are exposed to masterpieces, marvels and modern works and
ideas each year.
● $2.4 billion
in operating expenses for nearly 200 Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) member organizations stimulate
economies and sustain jobs.
● more than
one-third ($840 million) of the operating expenses of the AAMD’s membership network
are covered by tax-deductible gifts. That’s more than the combined
operating expenses of 70 AAMD member museums in the following states:
California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.
These vital sources of jobs,
services and support depend on donations spurred by the charitable tax
deduction. If lawmakers tamper with it, nonprofits lose their ability to
provide food and shelter for the most vulnerable, support education and better
health, strengthen communities, solve problems and more.
Let’s be clear, the nonprofit
sector’s role in our communities is not a loophole for the rich. It is a
lifeline for those who need it most. At a time when the need for crucial services
is on the rise, we should be working to find ways to encourage more giving, not
Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, is a member of the Charitable
Giving Coalition, which 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.
Labels: Catholic Charities USA, charitable deduction, Charitable Giving Coalition, congress, donations, donors, Giving USA, Rev. Larry Snyder