Category Archives: Giving


Fiscal-Cliff Tax Deal Expected to Boost Charitable Giving

The income-tax provisions adopted by Congress to avert the year-end “fiscal cliff” will increase charitable giving by an estimated 1.3 percent, or $3.3-billion, in 2013, according to a new Urban Institute analysis.

The boost will come mainly from the decision to increase the top tax bracket from 35 percent to 39.6 percent on income above $400,000 for individuals ($450,000 for married couples), the institute said.

Because the charitable deduction is tied to a person’s tax bracket, those donors …


Council on Foundations Plans to Step Up Advocacy

In an e-mail last night to her group’s membership, Vikki Spruill, the new leader of the Council on Foundations, announced a campaign to convey the value of philanthropy to lawmakers.

She painted a picture of philanthropy under threat from politicians who are looking for new ways to increase revenue.

“Both President Obama and Governor Romney have put forth plans that will affect giving, and Congress is eyeing all tax deductions as potential revenue raisers,” she wrote. “This would be a grave mist…


Obamas Gave 22% of Their Income to Charity

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, gave nearly 22 percent of their income to charity in 2011, according to tax returns made public today.

The couple reported $789,674 in income and gave $172,130 to charity.

The largest gift was a $117,130 contribution to the Fisher House Foundation, a group that provides free or low-cost housing to military personnel and their families while they are receiving treatment at military medical centers. Mr. Obama has been giving the charity the after-tax proceed…


Does Charity Advocacy Pay Off?

A study released today from a foundation watchdog group says that advocacy efforts by charities can pay off, to the tune of billions of dollars to communities.

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy study examined 110 charities in 13 states and found that work such as pushing for more aid to schools and housing for the poor resulted in $26.6-billion in benefits to communities over five years. Money for the campaigns came from foundations and other donors.

The study comes as the watch…


Obama Tax Plan Would Have ‘Modest’ Impact on Giving, New Study Finds

President Obama’s proposal to limit the value of charitable deductions for the wealthy would cost charities less than $1-billion, according to a new study that gives the lowest estimate yet of how the president’s plan would affect donations.

The study, by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, found that charities would face a much larger drop in donations if the proposed cap were combined with Mr. Obama’s proposal to end the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy people. In that case, gifts …


Video: How Much Does the Charitable Deduction Matter?

The Senate’s powerful Finance Committee will play host to a hearing Tuesday that will discuss how some key proposals to change the federal tax code would affect nonprofits.

One of the key topics of discussion at the hearing will be the future of the charitable deduction—the write-offs that high-income people can get for their charitable donations.

The Chronicle recently produced a pair of videos that explain the charitable deduction—and what’s at stake if lawmakers decide to change how the deduc…


Senate Hearing Puts Focus on Charitable Deduction

President Obama’s effort to limit deductions for wealthy people, including those for charitable gifts, in his jobs bill may have died last week, but charitable deductions will be front and center in a Capitol Hill hearing next week.

The Senate’s powerful Finance Committee will host a hearing next week that will discuss how some key proposals to change the federal tax code would affect nonprofits.

Testifying at the hearing will be Brian Gallagher, president of United Way Worldwide, and Dallin H. …


Price Tag for Charity Tax Break Loss: at Least $2.9-Billion

President Obama’s plan to limit the value of charitable deductions for wealthy people would cost nonprofits at least $2.9-billion and perhaps as much as $5.6-billion, according to a study to be unveiled Friday.

Economists examined how people would be affected by Mr. Obama’s plan to limit to 28 percent the amount affluent people could write off in all itemized deductions. People in the highest income bracket now can write off 35 percent of their deductions, including those for gifts to charity.



State Regulators Grapple With Best Ways to Police Social-Media Appeals

As nonprofits increasingly turn to social-media and mobile tools to raise money, charity regulators are trying to figure out the smartest ways to protect donors from fraud.

The annual gathering of state regulators who monitor charities, held in Silver Spring, Md., this week, was dominated by concerns that the explosion of social networks has created an online fund-raising culture that is akin to the wild west.

The challenge, regulators say, is that the law and the courts haven’t kept up with all…


Nonprofits Fight Proposal to Curb Charity Tax Breaks

Nonprofits are gearing up to fight President Obama’s plan to pay for his jobs bill in part by limiting charitable deductions. Mr. Obama wants to limit the amount all wealthy people can write off for charitable gifts as well as housing, medical expenses, and other items.

Nonprofit leaders say that a curb on deductions will stifle giving and that charity write-offs make up only a small percentage of  the money the federal treasury loses in deductions by the wealthy.

In 2009, 46.4 million taxpayers…