Statement in Support of Charitable Giving in America

Jul 24, 2017   //   News  //  No Comments


July 2017

For 100 years, our tax code has been a powerful tool to encourage and empower Americans to support their communities through charitable giving. Tax reform provides a unique opportunity to explore policies that could increase charitable investment in local communities. The charitable deduction has been included in current tax reform proposals, but efforts to increase the standard deduction and lower rates would actually reduce levels of charitable giving.

A recent study by Independent Sector and Indiana University indicates that current tax reform proposals would reduce charitable giving by up to $13 billion per year by doubling the standard deduction and reducing the top rate to 35%. This amount is roughly equivalent to the charitable donations of the six largest charities in the United States: Feeding America, TaskForce for Global Health, Salvation Army, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, United Way Worldwide, and YMCA of the USA.

We need to enact policies that encourage charitable giving, not curtail it. Taxpayers who receive a deduction for their contributions give more to charities than those that do not receive a deduction regardless of their income level. An above-the-line, or universal, charitable deduction would expand the deduction to all taxpayers and exclude all charitable gifts from taxation.

We recognize Congress’ desire to simplify our tax code and make it more competitive; at the same time, we encourage Congress to preserve and expand charitable giving in our country.

About Leadership 18
Leadership 18 is an alliance of CEOs responsible for leading some of the country’s largest and most well respected charities, non-profits and faith-based organizations. As a group, member organizations serve over 87 million people annually, with 5.6 million staff and volunteers, and represent $44 billion in total revenue. We are a community of leaders who share a profound commitment to ensuring all people have the opportunity to contribute to a vibrant America, and with opportunity and effort, can live their lives to their fullest potential.



Susan Dreyfus*
President & CEO
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Gary Reedy
Chief Executive Officer
American Cancer Society

Nancy Brown
Chief Executive Officer
American Heart Association

Gail McGovern*
President & CEO
American Red Cross

Michael Surbaugh
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America

Jim Clark
President & CEO
Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Sister Donna Markham
President & CEO
Catholic Charities USA

Sylvia Acevedo
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of the USA

Judy Vredenburgh*
President & CEO
Girls Incorporated

Jim Gibbons*
President & CEO
Goodwill Industries International, Inc.

Jonathan Reckford
Chief Executive Officer
Habitat for Humanity International

Jerry Silverman
President & CEO
The Jewish Federations of North America

Paul Gionfriddo
President & CEO
Mental Health America

Jim Firman*
President & CEO
National Council on Aging

Brian Gallagher*
President & CEO
United Way Worldwide

Michael W. King
President & CEO
Volunteers of America

Kevin Washington
President & CEO
YMCA of the USA

Casey Harden
Interim Chief Executive Officer

*Executive Committee Member