Protecting America’s Strong Tradition of Giving

America’s economic recovery requires a strong philanthropic sector. 

Local, state, and federal government budgets, nonprofits and foundations continue to suffer the consequences of America’s recession – increased demand for services with significantly fewer resources to get the job done.

That’s why philanthropy’s independent role as an investor in innovation and a supporter of safety net services is more imperative than ever for restoring and sustaining a strong economy. Consider:

  • Nonprofits generate $1.1 trillion every year providing human services
  • 1 in 10 Americans work for a nonprofit, providing 13.5 million jobs.
  • For every $1 subject to the charitable deduction, communities see $3 in benefits.

A report from The Philanthropic Collaborative reveals that charitable giving through foundation investments has a deeper and farther-reaching economic impact in America’s communities than previously understood. The first-of-its-kind analysis shows that foundation grantmaking supports millions of jobs, as well as billions of dollars in wages, GDP and tax revenues that extend for generations.

Much is at stake. Any limit on charitable giving has dire consequences. Now is not the time to dismantle charitable giving in America and limit the incentives to support the critical work of the nonprofit sector.

If Congress takes away the deduction, we put at risk billions in private donations that have supported diverse, worthy causes, such as:

  • Developing technology and medications to improve our health, like insulin, the polio vaccine, the MRI, electron microscope and pacemaker
  • Providing educational opportunities and access to health services
  • Ensuring housing and shelter for the most vulnerable
  • Enhancing the arts and cultural activities
  • Conserving wetlands and protecting the environment
  • Protecting civil and voting rights
  • Preserving historic treasures

The message is clear – Americans want to protect the charitable deduction

A new public opinion poll commissioned by the United Way shows strong support for a 100-year old American tradition of giving:

  • 79 percent) believe reducing or eliminating the charitable tax deduction would have a negative impact on charities and the people they serve.
  • 62 percent) indicate they would have to reduce their contributions by a significant amount – by 25 percent or more.