News & Updates

 

Wise Giving Wednesday: Did 2018 U.S. Tax Cuts Reduce Donations?

Apr 10, 2019

In the closing days for filing U.S. income tax returns by April 15th, we are reminded of the Wise Giving Wednesday blog from last year that raised potential concerns about how U.S. tax law changes could impact giving. Specifically, some in the charitable sector were apprehensive that the standard deduction increase to $12,000 per individual or $24,000 per couple would reduce the incentive to donate since fewer households would itemize charitable donations on their returns. This point may not be fully known until data for the 2018 tax returns becomes available.

In the meantime, the Blackbaud Institute released its 2018 Charitable Giving Report on February 20, 2019 which showed a mixed result with larger charities doing well but smaller ones experiencing a reduction. As stated in the report, “Overall charitable giving in the United States increased by 1.5% on a year-over-year basis, with large organizations growing by 2.3%, medium sized growing by 2.0% and small nonprofits experiencing a decrease of 2.3%.” A more detailed analysis of giving in the U.S. is distributed by Giving USA in June of each year which is a collaborative effort of Giving USA Foundation, a public service initiative of The Giving Institute, and Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

For those who are still working on filing their 2018 U.S. Federal Income Tax and plan an itemizing their deductions, here are a few reminders:

Generally, only donations to organizations tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are deductible as charitable gifts.

Your donation may not be fully deductible if you received something of value in return (for example, tickets to a show.) If so, only the portion of your contribution that is above the fair market value of the item you received is deductible.

Making a donation directly to a needy individual, such as many of the crowdfunding postings, are generally not deductible as charitable gifts.

For additional guidance, see IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions.


Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring Linda Webb, Executive Director, Ally’s House (a BBB Accredited Charity) that provides financial assistance to the families of Oklahoma pediatric cancer patients. The financial assistance covers expenses such as medical costs, housing, transportation to and from treatment, and household utilities.  It also sponsors a summer camp for patients between the ages of 9-17.


Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to www.give.org/charity-inquiry if you are  interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance