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Leadership 18 CEOs Speak Out In Support of Expanding the Charitable Tax Deduction

May 18, 2017   //   News  //  No Comments


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Contact: Jennifer Devlin, 703-876-1714,


Leadership 18 CEOs Speak Out In Support of Expanding the Charitable Tax Deduction

New research finds expanding the charitable deduction to 100 percent of taxpayers would result in an estimated $4.8 billion increase in donations to charitable organizations

(WASHINGTON, May 18, 2017) – Leadership 18, a coalition of some of the nation’s largest and most influential human service non-profits, announced today its support for efforts to expand the charitable tax deduction to all taxpayers, not just those who itemize. The effort was announced in response to new research commissioned by Independent Sector with funding from Leadership 18. Conducted by the Indiana University (IU) Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the study shows that current tax reform proposals by Republican lawmakers and the Administration would decrease charitable giving by an estimated $13.1 billion.

“On the face of it, the tax reform blueprint from the Administration and Republican lawmakers appears to preserve the charitable tax deduction, which is good news,” noted Susan Dreyfus, chairman of Leadership 18 and president and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.  “However, by doubling the standard deduction, fewer households will opt to itemize their taxes, thereby having the unintended consequence of reducing the incentive for charitable giving, according to this new research. Fortunately, this study also provides data that indicates that a simple fix that would not just preserve charitable giving but in fact encourage more charitable giving in our country. By making charitable giving a universal deduction available to all, including non-itemizers, the incentive to give will be preserved.”

“America is recognized around the world for our charitable spirit and ability to come together as a nation in times of need to solve social problems,” commented Brian Gallagher, United Way Worldwide president and CEO and standing vice chair of Leadership 18. “Americans will never stop giving, but we know that tax incentives are important to how much they give. And for the human service organizations that Leadership 18 represents, charitable giving represents a majority of our funding – funding which enables us to fill the gaps in social services for vulnerable families.”

The study found that when those proposals incorporated an expanded charitable deduction for all taxpayers, including people who do not currently itemize on their taxes, charitable giving actually increased by an estimated $4.8 billion.

Research has consistently shown that people do give more when they are incentivized to do so through the tax code. In 2015, Americans gave nearly $265 billion to charitable organizations, a record amount.

A 2017 poll conducted by Independent Sector found that 85 percent of American voters support protecting the charitable tax deduction and 75 percent support expanding the charitable deduction to all taxpayers.

“We took the position last year that expanding the charitable deduction to 100 percent of taxpayers would encourage all Americans to give more and ensure that more dollars were being put back into communities for local, effective solutions,” said Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “We are encouraged that the research shows that expanding the deduction has the potential to more than offset the estimated loss in charitable dollars resulting from current reform proposals. Those charitable dollars improve lives and the natural world for all Americans.”

“When talking about changes in tax policy, it is important that the debate is informed by research. This study provides important information about the expected effects of the proposed tax policy changes and the extension of the charitable deduction to non-itemizers.” said Patrick M. Rooney, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.


About Leadership 18

Collectively, the members of Leadership 18 serve 87 million people with more than 5.6 million staff and volunteers. All of our member organizations share a specific mission to improve human development through deep community relationships. Leadership 18 members include the following: Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Catholic Charities USA, City Year, Feeding America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Incorporated, Goodwill Industries International, Inc., Habitat for Humanity, The Jewish Federations of North America, Lutheran Services in America, Mental Health America, National Council on Aging, The Salvation Army, United Way Worldwide, Volunteers of America, YMCA of the USA, and YWCA USA.

About Independent Sector
Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good. Learn more at

Leadership 18 Values Statement

Feb 23, 2017   //   News  //  No Comments

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. This commitment is rooted in beliefs and values that support and guide our work together. Leadership 18 comprises CEOs of 22 of the nation’s largest social sector organizations including charities, non-profits, and faith-based organizations. We represent organizations that serve over 87 million people annually, with 5.6 million staff and volunteers, and $44 billion in total revenue.

We believe that societal challenges can be solved when all people have access to the supports and resources we all need to live safe, healthy and productive lives—for example access to a quality and affordable education, to a job that produces sufficient income, and to quality healthcare. When these supports and resources are not in place in all communities, our nation loses valuable human capital and our opportunity for growth and advancement is limited. Ultimately, this has negative effects on the vibrancy and vitality of our communities and our nation as a whole.

As such, we stand together behind the following values:

  • We need everyone’s potential for the civic, social, and economic well-being of our communities.We want ensure that everyone can fulfill their potential and contribute fully to our economy and our communities. To achieve this goal, we need supports like a strong education system and job training that contribute to people’s physical, social, and financial well-being. We know that our communities are stronger when everyone can realize their potential.
  • We are better together.We believe strong, self-sustaining societies are inclusive.  Society should empower all people and allow them to live free from hate or diminishment, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, faith, or status.
  • Strong communities are our most valuable resources.We believe that community-driven visioning and problem-solving is a pre-requisite to long-term human success.  When entire communities come together to support comprehensive solutions, all parts of society benefit and progress becomes self-sustaining.
  • Innovative supports, programs and services benefit everyone. We believe that everyone in society needs strong supports around them. We must ensure that all people have access to the resources and supports they need as they strive to live to their fullest potential.  We must have strong health and social supports and programs available to ensure everyone has the chance to succeed. When those things are in place, our whole country moves forward.
  • Cross-sector partnerships effectively solve problems As vital as the charitable and nonprofit social sector is, we cannot replace the essential role of government and our partnership. Therefore, we believe in a strong governmental commitment to support the well-being of all.  We call on all our elected leaders and governmental policy makers to support the physical, mental, economic and social well-being of all US citizens and residents. When we fail to do this, people who are sick, disabled, poor or marginalized, or discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity are most immediately affected. And the consequences of failing to act reverberate across our society.

These values drive our alliance’s agenda and focus, and we advocate for them through community partnerships, public policy initiatives and civic campaigns. With our collective experience and expertise, we will do all we can to strengthen individuals and communities, create opportunity and ensure that the voices of all members of society are respected and heard.

The Non Profit Times Power & Influence Top 50 2016

Aug 1, 2016   //   News  //  No Comments

Several Leadership 18 members were recognized as part of the Non Profit Times Power & Influence Top 50 2016.

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The Non Profit Times Power & Influence Top 50 2015

Aug 1, 2015   //   News  //  No Comments

Several Leadership 18 members were recognized as part of the Non Profit Times Power & Influence Top 50 2015.

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The Non Profit Times Power & Influence Top 50 2014

Aug 1, 2014   //   News  //  No Comments

Several Leadership members were recognized as part of the Non Profit Times Power & Influence Top 50 2014.

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Many Groups Seek New Sources of Funds as Economy Recovers, Study Finds

Apr 7, 2014   //   News  //  No Comments

By Ben Gose

When the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua, in New Hampshire, lost a federal grant that supported its arts programs five years ago, the club had to lay off its dance director and rely on intermittent volunteers. Its arts offerings became sporadic, and some teenage girls stopped coming to the club.

Last year brought another blow from a once-dependable source of funds: The local United Way cut its operating support in half, a $50,000 hit to the Boys & Girls Club’s bottom line.

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Comments on the Tax Reform Act of 2014

Feb 28, 2014   //   News  //  No Comments

The Charitable Giving Coalition, representing a broad cross-section of nonprofit organizations across the country, applauds the tireless work of Chairman Camp and his staff. We appreciate the Chairman’s recognition of the importance of preserving a charitable deduction, signaling that this is a unique giving incentive that encourages generous Americans to support charitable causes. However, we are concerned about some provisions that would negatively impact charitable giving and the philanthropic programs and services provided by our nation’s charities.

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House Tax Plan Would Limit Charitable Deduction

Feb 27, 2014   //   News  //  No Comments

By Alex Daniels

Nonprofit advocates slammed a plan offered Wednesday by the chief tax architect of the House that would sharply limit charity tax breaks for people at all income levels.

Under the plan, people would be allowed to deduct only the amount above 2 percent of income they give to charity. That is a contrast to President Obama’s repeated efforts to limit the value of the deduction only for people who are in the highest tax brackets—an idea charities have successfully fought throughout his administration.

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Charitable Deduction Probably Safe for 2014, Say Experts

Jan 16, 2014   //   News  //  No Comments

By Alex Daniels

Nonprofit experts are confident the charitable tax deduction will emerge unscathed from the current session of Congress, but they are less certain how lawmakers will deal with several tax breaks for charities that expired at the end of 2013.

President Obama has long pressed to limit the tax savings wealthy people can get for itemized deductions, including for charitable gifts, and he will likely reprise such an approach in his proposed budget next month. Solitary changes in tax policy, however, stand little chance of success unless they are cobbled together with other tax items. Putting together a large tax bill, budget experts say, will be difficult before the midterm elections in November.

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Government shutdown didn’t stop charitable giving

Dec 8, 2013   //   News  //  No Comments

By Meg Mirshak

Despite the government screeching to a halt this fall, many federal workers and contractors didn’t stop giving to area charitable campaigns.

Worries that the 16-day federal government shutdown would threaten donations to the annual United Way of the CSRA campaign were unwarranted, said Rina Powell, the senior director of resource development for the United Way of the CSRA. Although some campaigns coincided with the October shutdown when many workers were furloughed, most of the United Way’s largest workplace contributors met their goals.

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