By Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Goodwill Industries International
The pandemic and the economic downturn have severely damaged charitable giving in America. Despite a few bright spots and big headlines, the latest data shows a troubling decline in donations this year, with an 11 percent drop in March alone — a trend that would lead to $25 billion in lost revenue for nonprofits like Goodwill® if it continues throughout 2020. At the same time, demand for charitable services has increased and will continue to do so, particularly as individuals will need additional workforce development and up-skilling services while businesses recover.
A bipartisan bill pending in Congress would provide welcome relief for nonprofits, and swift enactment will reverse these trends. The Universal Giving Pandemic Response Act (S. 4032/HR 7324) would significantly increase the cap on the universal charitable deduction for 2020 by raising the $300 cap to just over $4,000 for individuals and $8,000 for couples. Research indicates that such a proposal could unlock more than $17 billion in new giving per year if made permanent, allowing charitable organizations to continue to provide vital services to families, workers and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. The proposal would also allow all taxpayers to deduct gifts made between December 31, 2019, and July 15, 2020, on their 2019 tax returns, providing additional immediate relief to charities.
Lawmakers need to hear from you. Please visit GII’s Legislative Action Center to urge your Senators to join the effort by cosponsoring this legislation and supporting its inclusion in the next COVID-19 relief package.