Fundraisers Worried About Federal Deduction

July 27, 2011       Samuel Fanburg      

Unsurprisingly, more than three-quarters of fundraisers have grown weary about a White House plan to limit charitable deductions, believing the passage could result in a precipitous drop in contributions.

This is a finding found by the Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) “Quick Poll,” conducted from April 18-June 19. With 525 responses, results indicated that more than half of respondents supposed the passage of the FY2012 budget would have a “significant” impact on donations.

In a written statement, Andrew Watt, FInstF, president and CEO of AFP, said that the federal government is misunderstanding the sector’s needs.

“The White House and Congress must understand that limiting the value of itemized deductions for charitable contributions will dramatically affect the charitable sector and those it serves.”

Current legislation has the Obama Administration capping itemized deductions at 28 percent for some taxpayers.

As indicated by the results, 9 percent of fundraisers believed the budget passage would have no effect on donor gifts, 23 percent contented a 5 percent drop in gifts, 27 percent thought they would see a 5-10 percent drop in gifts, 27 percent supposed a 25 percent drop in gifts, while 14 percent of fundraisers were not sure what effect the legislation would have.

Despite giving trends looking upwards as indicated by two percent rise from the 2010 Giving USA numbers, Watt still contended that the sector still has much work in making up giving returns from pre-recession levels.

“2008 and 2009 were two of the top worst years fundraising years ever, with significant drops in giving across the board affecting ever type of charity,” said Watt. “Capping the deduction just as we’re starting to see the smallest signs of economic recovery is exactly the wrong move to take.”