AFP Pushing for Universal Charitable Deduction Bill
AFP is asking members to contact their Congressional Representatives in support of H.R. 1260, which would create a universal charitable deduction for all taxpayers.
H.R. 1260 was introduced by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill does not limit the amount of charitable donations that could be claimed through this deduction. Overall, the universal charitable deduction would enhance giving by simplifying the tax code and creating fairness, allowing anyone to take a charitable deduction, including those who take the standard deduction.
AFP has created a sample email that members can send to their Member of Congress and encourage them to co-sponsor H.R. 1260. The sample communication can be found below.
To determine your Member of Congress, you can use the House.gov website.
AFP is focusing on the House side for now and will be developing a similar campaign to the Senate later this year.
“I want to thank Rep. Davis for his leadership on this critical issue,” said Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of AFP. “With the overall growth in giving dropping significantly in 2018—and far fewer donations of $250 or less—we need a strong incentive to encourage giving by all Americans. Research has shown that a universal charitable deduction will increase annual giving, and I urge all AFP members to get involved and encourage their U.S. Representatives to support and co-sponsor H.R. 1260.”
Sample Letter/Email to Your Member of Congress
Dear Rep. NAME:
As a constituent who works in the charitable sector focusing on fixing community problems and challenges, I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 1260, which would allow every American to take a charitable deduction for their philanthropic gifts, even if they didn’t itemize their taxes.
Why is this bill important? The comprehensive 2017 tax law removed the incentive for 21 million Americans to give to charity. And that change DID have an impact! You may have seen headlines that giving increased in 2018. But the growth in giving, according to the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Fundraising Effectiveness Project, dropped by 80 percent!
Even worse, giving by small-level donors, gifts in the $25 - $500 range, or even higher up to $1,000 range—continues to decrease. Giving only increased in 2018 because of major and mega-level gifts. Big gifts are important—and they get all the headlines—but they don’t serve as the foundation of American philanthropy. In addition, the number of households donating to charity has declined continuously for the past 15 years.
America’s nonprofit sector—and the great tradition of philanthropy—needs H.R. 1260 and a charitable deduction for all donors. Allowing all taxpayers to deduct their charitable contributions will reverse the declining number of American households giving to charity. The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy estimates that H.R. 1260 could increase giving by $7 billion if the bill were passed into law.
As a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, I know first-hand how important charitable giving incentives are. People give because they want to give—for personal reasons—but how much they give and how often they give is affected by incentives like the charitable deduction.
OPTIONAL: INSERT A SENTENCE OR TWO ABOUT GIVING AT YOUR OWN ORGANIZATION AND HOW H.R. 1260 AND A UNIVERSAL CHARITABLE DEDUCTION WOULD BENEFIT YOUR MISSION AND THE PEOPLE YOU SERVE.
Please support the charitable sector and donors in your district. I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 1260, encourage your colleagues to do the same, and vote for the bill whenever it comes to the floor.
Thank you for your support.