4/4/13 — Coalition Launches ProtectGiving.org

Website Provides Resources to Inform, Engage in Charitable Deduction Debate

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Heading into a critical stage on the federal budget and tax reform, the Charitable Giving Coalition launched a new website – protectgiving.org. The online resource is designed to provide user-friendly, accessible information about the vital role of charitable giving in America’s communities.

The diverse nonprofit sector is galvanized and unified like never before, working to protect a century-old American tradition – the charitable tax deduction. The website augments many other efforts throughout the charitable sector to make sure lawmakers, stakeholders and the media understand the value and impact of the charitable deduction and what communities stand to lose if elected officials tamper with it.

The website includes information about the policy debate surrounding the charitable deduction, the impact of the charitable sector and the Coalition and its membership. For example, a “story bank” provides local examples of charity’s impact. The website also provides updates about Coalition activities and ways for stakeholders to get involved.

Protectgiving.org is an important resource in spreading the word about the inextricable link between charitable giving and thriving communities,” said Gloria Johnson-Cusack, executive director of Leadership 18, a member of the Charitable Giving Coalition. “Working together, we can make sure lawmakers clearly understand that the charitable deduction is unique and it works.”

Protectgiving.org features a new Coalition logo and demonstrates the sector’s ongoing, active presence as lawmakers consider caps or limits to the charitable deduction.

Visitors to the website can explore an infographic illustrating the ripple effects of the charitable sector at work in communities every day. The site also features news releases, relevant news coverage, research and reports about the importance of charitable giving and the nonprofit sector. A “Take Action” section provides visitors a variety of ways to join the effort – from contacting members of Congress to spreading the word via social networks and by using the #protectgiving hash tag.

“With communities continuing to feel the effects of a tough recession and governments and the private sector struggling to meet the demand for increased services, the charitable sector is more important than ever,” said Jason Lee, general counsel for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, a Coalition member. “Thanks to the generosity of donors, the philanthropic sector supports efforts to aid the most vulnerable, support economic growth and job creation, develop medications and scientific breakthroughs, improve education and health, protect the environment, enhance arts and culture and much more.”

“The diversity and commitment of the Coalition members demonstrates that philanthropy is truly part of America’s DNA,” said Sue Santa, senior vice president of public policy and legal affairs at the Council on Foundations, a member of the Coalition. “The Coalition represents a group of organizations that knows better than most what the needs are in America’s communities, and works every day to address those needs. We must make it clear that limits or caps to the deduction will decrease giving and our communities will suffer.”

“We are fully committed to helping lawmakers understand the unique nature of the charitable deduction – and that it’s not a loophole, but a lifeline. It’s unique because it encourages individuals to give away a portion of their income for the benefit of others,” said Sandra Swirski, executive director of the Alliance for Charitable Reform, a Coalition member. “This new website is another way the Coalition will communicate the important role charitable giving plays in our communities and that cuts, caps or limits to the charitable deduction incentive will hurt the recipients of charity, not donors.”

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The Charitable Giving Coalition
Representing private and community foundations, their grantees and independent charities, the Charitable Giving Coalition’s members include United Way Worldwide, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities USA, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Independent Sector, the Council on Foundations, The Philanthropy Roundtable, among others. Formed in 2009, the coalition is a broad cross-section of nonprofit organizations across the country, including both the nonprofit organizations themselves and the associations and umbrella groups that serve their needs. The coalition 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. The coalition provides a unique and unified voice on Capitol Hill on issues affecting the charitable deduction, a voice composed of both direct lobbying and robust grassroots advocacy. www.protectgiving.org