Celebrating 100 Years of Giving in America

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Last week, more than 200 nonprofit leaders from across the nation gathered on Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers and their staffs to protect charitable giving in America.  Stephanie Judson, SD Community Foundation President represented South Dakota at the Charitable Giving Coalition’s (CGC) “100 Years of Giving Fly-in”.  With 2017 marking the 100th anniversary of the charitable tax deduction, the CGC urged lawmakers to recognize this milestone and preserve the tax incentive that encourages individuals to invest in their communities through donations to nonprofits. 

The 200+ nonprofit leaders, representing a diverse group of charities from 37 states visited 130 House and Senate offices; 23 meetings were with Senate Finance members and 26 meetings included visits with House Ways and Means members.  Stephanie met with staff members of Representative Noem and Senator Thune, both of whom are involved in tax reform through their work with the Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.  She also participated in meeting with delegations in North Dakota and Nebraska.  In addition to actual meetings, the participating nonprofit leaders were encouraged to continue to reach out to the communities in their state and engage residents in the discussion of the importance of the charitable deduction and how it can protect resources and programs affecting their citizens. 

Research confirms that, regardless of income level, taxpayers who receive a deduction for their contributions give more to charities than those that do not receive a deduction.  Expanding a tax incentive to all taxpayers could increase overall charitable giving in America.  Giving USA reported that Americans contributed more than $265 billion to charities in 2015, with over 80% of those dollars given by taxpayers who itemize and use the charitable deduction. 

When asked about the importance of representing South Dakota at the Fly-in, Judson stated “the charitable deduction has been a part of our country's fabric for 100 years and provides an incentive for individuals to support charitable and nonprofit causes that are important to them. As our representatives embark on tax reform, we are hopeful they will preserve  the value and scope of the charitable deduction going forward, encouraging American tax payers to invest in the future of our communities.” 

If you would like to learn more about how you can encourage the South Dakota delegation to support the charitable tax deduction, please contact our office at 1-800-888-1842.