The charitable deduction is unique in that it incentivizes Americans to give something away, with no tangible benefit in return, to solve problems in their communities and around the world. However, the current charitable deduction is only available to taxpayers who itemize, which leaves out about 89 percent of taxpayer households. Along with our colleagues in the Charitable Giving Coalition, we are working with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to expand access to the charitable deduction to all taxpayers, regardless of whether they itemize. We believe all Americans should be encouraged to donate to the causes most important to them and receive a benefit for it, because when more Americans engage in civil society, our country and our democracy thrives.
The Philanthropy Roundtable and Alliance for Charitable Reform believe that anonymous giving has long been central to American philanthropy. There are many reasons why philanthropists wish to keep their names out of the spotlight. They might want to keep their personal security risk low, keep the spotlight on the charity’s work, or even just keep their name from “owning” a cause or an object that truly belongs to the people. Whatever their reasons for doing so, private giving keeps the entrepreneurial spirit alive, and it benefits us all in more ways than we will ever know.
Charitable donations are facing growing scrutiny as some donors continue to keep their giving private. As policymakers and academics propose changes that could infringe on their privacy, ACR stands ready to defend philanthropists and their freedom to remain private.