Skip to main content

Charity Donors Say They’d Keep Giving If Tax Deduction Went Away, But They’re Not So Sure About You

A new study, released yesterday, finds that Americans would keep giving, even if the tax deduction for charitable gifts went away. However, they’re certain that charitable donations would decline as a result.

As Congress and the President mull over how to make up ground against the burgeoning U.S. deficit, one idea that frequently comes up is eliminating tax deductibility for charitable donations.

The demographically representative study found that most Americans think that would lead to fewer donations to charitable causes. The survey, from Grey Matter Research of Phoenix, found:
  • 30% feel there would be no real change in giving in the U.S.
  • Six percent believe charitable donations would rise.
  • “Almost two-thirds of Americans say charitable giving in the U.S. would decrease, including 29% who believe it would decrease a little, and 36% who believe it would decrease a lot,” the survey found.
Even though the issue has become a kind of political football (See picture above), how Americans feel about the issue varies little between Independents, Republicans, and Democrats.

“Sixty-three percent of Republicans, 68% of independents, and 61% of Democrats believe charitable giving in this country will decrease if contributions are no longer tax deductible. Similarly, this is the perspective among 62% of those who identify themselves as politically conservative, 62% of self-described moderates, and 72% of political liberals. Whether they feel giving will decrease a lot or a little also shows no variation by party or perspective.”

How then to reconcile the seemingly contradictory finding that those surveyed think their contributions would remain consistent, while they think other Americans would give markedly less?

Says Ron Sellers, president of Grey Matter Research, “It’s fascinating that so many people believe their own giving will remain stable even without the deduction, but that other people will give less. Obviously, both perspectives can’t be right for everyone. People are either being unnecessarily pessimistic about what other donors will do, or unreasonably optimistic about their own behavior.”

I suspect the pessimists are right about their peers and wrong about themselves.

Across the globe, the countries that allow a tax deduction for charitable donations have a more robust and healthy Third Sector than the countries that don’t.

Tax deductibility would have a severe effect on the charities in the United States if it was taken away or limited.

Comments

Very interesting post.

As charity is a cumulative and collaborative process, Most charity donors will keep giving even Tax deduction went away and there will be no major change in Charitable Giving

Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Five Steps To Nurture a 30-Year Cause Marketing Relationship

Last Monday, July 22, 2013, March of Dimes released the annual results of its campaign with Kmart... now in its thirtieth year... and thereby begged the question, what does it takes to have a multi-decade cause marketing relationship between a cause and a sponsor?

In the most recent year, Kmart,the discount retailer, donated $7.4 million to the March of Dimes, bringing the 30-year total to nearly $114 million. March of Dimes works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Too many cause marketing relationships, in my estimation, resemble speed-dating more than long-term marriage. There can be good reasons for short-term cause marketing relationships. But most causes and sponsors benefit more from long-term marriages than short-term hookups, the main benefit being continuity. Cause marketing trades on the trust that people, usually consumers, put in the cause and the sponsor. The longer the relationship lasts the more trust is evidenced.

There's also a sponsor finding cost that…