October 26, 2012
Nonprofit Leaders Urge Presidential Candidates to Protect Tax Break
The Chronicle of Philanthropy is reporting that leaders of big nationwide nonprofits on Thursday sent letters to President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, urging the presidential candidates to reconsider their proposals to cut the charitable tax deduction.
The nonprofit leaders also announced that they have scheduled a gathering on December 4 and 5 to bring hundreds of their members to Washington to tell members of Congress that any tax changes that lead to a decline in private giving would devastate nonprofits and the people they serve.
Among the organizations that sent the letters were the Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide and nonprofit coalitions like the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Independent Sector. According to the groups, “Any proposed cap would have long-lasting negative consequences on the charitable organizations upon which millions of Americans rely for vital programs and services.”
President Obama has several times proposed to limit the charitable deduction to 28 percent—instead of the current 35 percent—for individuals earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000. Congress has never gone along with that kind of limit, in part because of strong charity opposition.
Although Former Governor Romney has not been specific about his tax plan, he has proposed to limit the amount of deductions people could take over all. The Chronicle reports that in a recent debate, Mr. Romney suggested that people could choose whether they wanted to take deductions for housing or charitable giving if they went over the limit.
We wait to see what will happen after the election season is over.
October 25, 2012
Caribbean Nonprofit Uses Online Crowd Funding to Raise Funds for School Project
I'll confess my ignorance: up to a few minutes ago, I had never heard of "crowd funding." Then this story from Caribbean360 caught my attention. According to Caribbean360, the Grenada Goat Dairy recently announced that its campaign to fund its collaboration with the St. Patrick Anglican School had exceeded its goal of $55,000 (USD) through the campaign's use of the crowd funding website, www.Kickstarter.com. The Grenadian non-profit organization used the method to attract local and international support, with donors giving amounts ranging from $1 to $10,000.
I know nothing about crowd funding and how it works, but if it works for the Grenada Goat Dairy, it can work for other non-profits also. I wonder, however, whether donors' contributions are tax deductible, and whether the various websites hosting these crowd funding "events" are able to give individual donors receipts for their donations.
October 22, 2012
Faith and Voting -- Does a LInk Exist?
The Washington Post is reporting on a possible link between religiosity and voting -- or non-voting. According to the Post, a new poll indicates that religiously unaffiliated Americans are less likely to vote in next month's elections than those Americans who are religiously affiliated. The poll focuses on the overlap -- and sometimes contradiction -- of a person's faith identity and his or her views on topics ranging from religious freedom to abortion.
Coming so close to Election Day, the article is an interesting read.