Eleven Days and Counting…

Eleven Days and Counting…

Chapter Leadership Brief 10.23.2020

By Steve Jacobson
AFP-NYC President and CEO, JCA, Inc.

As you’re undoubtedly aware, Election Day is now just 11 days away.  For some 47 million of us who have already voted, we can sit back and know that we’ve fulfilled our constitutional duty to cast our ballots for our preferred local, state and federal candidates.  For those of you who haven’t yet voted in person (early), by mail or secure ballot box, please get out there and do so now.  And, of course, if you’re going to vote at your polling place on Election Day itself, stay safe and cast your ballot.

One thing that I would like you to think about if you haven’t yet voted – and I’m not about to tell you whom to vote for – is to think about the future of charitable fundraising before you do.  Let’s support the candidates who believe in the good work that we all do.  Let’s support the candidates who value the services we provide and the missions that we serve.  And, let’s support those candidates who support and incentivize charitable giving. 

As part of the CARES Act passed in March, Congress established a temporary $300 above-the-line deduction for anyone who makes a charitable contribution in 2019 or 2020 ($600 if married).  That’s certainly a start, but what really needs to be done is to expand that deduction even more.  In fact, right now, there is a bipartisan bill in the Senate that would, indeed, do just that.  Sponsored by Senators Lankford (R-OK), Coons (D-DE), Lee (R-UT), Shaheen (D-NH), Scott (R-SC) and Klobuchar (D-MN), The Universal Giving Pandemic Response Act would increase the deduction from the current $300 to $4,026 for individuals and $8,052 for married couples. The House has taken up an identical bill, introduced by Mark Walker (R-NC) and Chris Pappas (D-NH) and co-sponsored by three other Republicans and nine other Democrats. However, neither bill makes this deduction permanent.

With all this bipartisan support across both chambers of Congress, it sounds like this should be a slam dunk, right?  Unfortunately, both bills have been referred to committee and there they sit, taking a backseat to other coronavirus legislation, the Supreme Court nomination and the election itself.  So, what can you do?  Write or call your legislators and tell them how important an increase is to the universal charitable deduction is – and to make it permanent.

Vote!  Vote!  Vote!

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