Charitable Giving and Tax Policy
The Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP) represents the gift planning community in a coalition of nonprofits nationwide advocating support of the chartiable deduction. Americans were generous long before there was even such as thing as income tax and even today does not affect the basic decision to give or not to give. Nearly 70% of American taxpayers are not even itemizers, and thus receive no direct tax benefit from their giving. Tax policy also does not affect volunteerism (since you can’t receive a charitable deduction for your time).
However, tax-favored charitable behavior does play a role in the timing, vehicle and amount of gifts. If you are engaged with non-profits on any level – volunteer, board member, donor or staff – it is critical that you understand how tax policy and government planning in general affect your choices and those of others that join with you to support the common good through those organizations.
To read an excellent summary of the importance of the “third sector” in our society and the benefits of good tax policy to support the sector, read the coalition’s position paper:
I would also recommend two books by Claire Gaudiani for action-provoking inspiration: The Greater Good and Daughters of the Declaration.
In the meantime – think about your long-term philanthropic plans: Remember that ANYONE can be a philanthropist and can make a difference.