With the possibility of tax reform as close as it has been in decades, and looming tax proposals that could eliminate the charitable deduction for 95 percent of Americans, an educational initiative was launched today to serve as a resource for nonprofit organizations to inform and activate stakeholders. The Giving100 website, which was spearheaded by Independent Sector, shares information about the charitable deduction, its history, and explains why an expansion of the charitable deduction is critical for the nation’s charities. It also includes polling data, a Champions Wall – allowing organizations to submit their logo to support the campaign – and a toolkit, providing the visitor with all the materials available on the website.
Only about 30 percent of Americans itemize their taxes, which allows them to qualify for a charitable deduction. That leaves over 100 million taxpayers who cannot claim a charitable deduction. The Giving100 campaign seeks to mobilize the nonprofit sector to urge lawmakers to adapt a universal charitable deduction, allowing all taxpayers regardless of itemizer status to claim a charitable deduction. The campaign name is a reference to not only a universal charitable deduction – making the charitable deduction available to 100 percent of taxpayers – but also references the 100th anniversary of the charitable deduction, which was adopted in 1917.
The Alliance for Charitable Reform has also advocated for a universal, or above-the-line deduction, for several years, often referring to it as our principled position.