Mike’s Monday Message Takeover: AFP’s Lobby Week is Coming Up
Can advocacy make you a better fundraiser? Yes, it can! And AFP’s annual U.S. Lobby Week, where we lend support to relevant legislation which will benefit fundraisers and the nonprofit industry, is three weeks away: October 2-6, 2023. This year, we’re primarily focused on restoring and expanding the charitable deduction for non-itemizers, known as the universal charitable deduction.
We saw positive results from last year’s Lobby Week advocacy efforts when, at the end of 2022, Congress passed the modified Legacy IRA Act to incentivize more charitable giving by seniors.
We can see the same success this year to restore the universal charitable deduction with the collective energy of AFP members.
Earlier this year, AFP Global co-led a national letter of support for the bipartisan Charitable Act (S. 566/H.R. 3435) to restore the universal charitable deduction. We immediately saw energy from charities to join this advocacy effort. Within two weeks, we had more than 500 organizations from all 50 states expressing support for the Charitable Act.
Now, the national Charitable Giving Coalition (CGC), made up of nearly 200 large national and international charities, faith-based organizations, and several associations and umbrella groups that represent the charitable sector, is again following AFP’s lead. It is important to note that AFP is a founding member of the CGC and for many years, AFP chaired this Coalition. CGC members will be reaching out to their Members of Congress to express support for the Charitable Act at the same time that AFP chapters are meeting with their local Members of Congress, the first week of October.
AFP and other organizations supporting this legislation believe that this type of universal deduction will go a long way towards incentivizing charitable giving. And the data supports this. The AFP Foundation’s Fundraising Effectiveness Project found that the number of small donations in the $300 to $600 range increased by nearly 11% over the course of 2020 and 2021, when the temporary deduction was in effect. However, in 2022, there was a 5% decline when the deduction was allowed to expire.
The GivingUSA report conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy reinforces the need to use the tax code to incentivize more giving. GivingUSA found that 2022 was one of the most challenging years in the history of philanthropy. Total giving dropped 10.5% when adjusted for inflation, marking only the fourth time that donations have fallen since 1956. Furthermore, charitable giving as a share of personal disposable income dropped to 1.7% – a near 30-year low. These are concerning trends.
Enacting the bipartisan Charitable Act will provide individuals an additional incentive to donate to the causes that matter to them. I encourage you to get involved with your local chapter and help garner support for this important legislation by participating in Lobby Week. More information on Lobby Week can be found here: https://afpglobal.org/lobbyweek2023. Even if you aren’t participating with your chapter in meetings with your Congresspeople, you can still join in the effort right now and use this easy online form to send an email to your Members of Congress in support of the Charitable Act at https://afpglobal.org/charitable-act.
If you have any questions or want to be more engaged in AFP’s Government Relations efforts, email me at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you.