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Act Now: Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Target Charities


Dear Charitable Community Leaders,

The Georgia Center for Nonprofits is working with Independent Sector and a coalition of organizations across the country to rally our sector together to protect charitable giving.

Please add your organization’s name to this letter to help preserve the charitable deduction.

We are greatly concerned by reports that proposals to cap itemized deductions, including the charitable deduction–whether a dollar limit or percentage–are seriously being discussed among Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle as a source of revenue for a short-term ‘fiscal bridge’ into 2013.

Not only has the cap on deductions reentered the conversation, but it is also increasingly becoming one of the few areas of expressed agreement on revenue among Democratic and Republican leaders who are struggling to find common ground during negotiations. The threat to charitable giving has rarely been more pronounced, nor the need for our response more immediate.

It is imperative that we weigh in now and communicate the sector’s concerns to the White House and Congressional negotiators before final decisions are made.

Why you should act:

Although there are various sources that argue that people would give to charities no matter what. Numerous studies by the Union Institute, Indiana University and the Tax Policy Center also suggest that overall giving would decline. Although we don’t know where the negotiations are specifically headed there are three scenarios to consider, elimination, capping and finally changing the deduction to a credit. Here are some issues to ponder:

  • The Tax Policy Center estimates that merely changing the deduction to a refundable credit could reduce charitable giving by as much as 10.8 percent representing billions in lost revenue.
  • Capping deductions would also reduce giving. Over 10 years, exempting charitable deductions raises about $400 billion less under a $25,000 cap, and about $261 billion less under a $50,000 cap. That’s a big sacrifice of revenue.
  • Of course, eliminating the deduction altogether would deal a devastating blow to the charitable sector.

Our organization is working with Independent Sector and a coalition of organizations across the country to assemble names for this sign-on letter, which will be sent to President Obama, Congressional leaders, and (if funded) run as a full-page ad in a Capitol Hill newspaper.

If you would like to add your organization’s name, please respond to [email protected] by Friday, November 30, 2012.

We also ask that you please circulate the letter to your members or other agencies in your network and encourage them to sign.

We thank you for your participation and support,

Karen Beavor
President & CEO