The timing of the November 12 session, “A Look Forward on Tax Reform,” during the Public Policy Action Institute at Independent Sector’s annual conference could not have been more critical. It provided an important opportunity for attendees to get a clear sense of the urgency and potential impact our sector faces as the Obama Administration and Congress consider caps on the charitable deduction. Make no mistake: Political leaders have made it clear that addressing the “fiscal cliff,” deficit reduction, and tax reform means philanthropic incentives such as the charitable deduction are not sacrosanct.
Two clear takeaways from the session must serve as a guide for our efforts moving forward:
This issue is so important that a diverse group of more than 50 nonprofit, charitable, and other organizations—including The Philanthropy Roundtable—representing the work of thousands of community-level efforts serving millions of people — are joining forces as members of the Charitable Giving Coalition. On December 4–5 for “Protect Giving–D.C. Days,” hundreds of leaders from our sector will meet with elected officials and their staffs to encourage them to preserve the charitable deduction.
Now is not the time to dismantle incentives to support the crucial work the nonprofit sector does to strengthen our communities and aid the most vulnerable, particularly when state and federal budgets and nonprofits continue to suffer the consequences of America’s recession. We hope you will join us in this critically important effort to protect America’s strong tradition of charitable giving. If you can’t join us, we hope you will contact your elected officials in Washington, D.C. We must work together to make sure our political leaders understand the role and impact of nonprofits and charitable giving in our communities and that those hit hardest by the economic downturn and unemployment will be hurt the most by any limits to the charitable deduction.
Sue Santa is senior vice president for public policy at The Philanthropy Roundtable. The original version of this post first appeared in Independent Sector’s Hub.