By Laura Walling, GII’s senior director of government affairs, advocacy & legislative affairs
GivingUSA recently released The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018, and the results are troubling. During this time of economic growth, charitable giving should also be growing or at least keeping pace. Instead, GivingUSA found that charitable giving by individuals dropped 3.4% (adjusted for inflation).
Nonprofits like local Goodwill® organizations rely on the generosity of donors in order to fund their missions. A decline in giving will impact the charitable sector as a whole and could hinder their ability to provide vital services in their communities.
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a part of the Charitable Giving Coalition, which has voiced concern about two alarming trends in charitable giving. First, fewer Americans are making charitable contributions. Second, fewer Americans are itemizing their tax returns as a result of tax reform that went into effect last year, and thus are not incentivized to give more. The GivingUSA results show that both factors contributed to the decline in individual giving and nearly every type of recipient organization —from religion to education to human services — saw giving decline or stay flat.
Congress can restore giving and reverse these trends by enacting a universal charitable deduction.
Expanding charitable giving incentives to all taxpayers will create a fairer system that helps all Americans giving back to their communities. Goodwill and the Charitable Giving Coalition urge lawmakers to take action to ensure the charitable sector remains a strong and vital force for good.
Sign up for GII’s Legislative Action Center in order to stay informed on this issue and take action to garner support for incentives to restore giving. As local Goodwills work to fulfill their missions around the country, every donation counts and every voice matters.