Like it or hate it, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Whether you are in a relationship or are single and ready to mingle, the pressure to make plans and express feelings can often inhibit people from making small gestures to show others they care. This Valentine’s Day, consider celebrating love by helping your neighbors and supporting a local charity. Whether you purchase a charitable holiday greeting card, host a themed fundraising party, or make a single donation in someone’s honor, there is no gesture too big or too small that will help to do some good and spread love in this world.
Now more than ever, local charities need your support.
The new federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has de-incentivized charitable giving, capping public cash donations and increasing the standard charitable donation amount that taxpayers can deduct. Consequently, philanthropic organizations are working to navigate the operational impact these changes have caused.
As a member of the Junior League of Boston, I recently participated in a webinar led by David L. Thompson, Vice President of Public Policy for the National Council of Nonprofits, which explored changes nonprofits will need to embrace in 2018 as a result of the new law. In short, nonprofits need to rethink the ways in which they raise money and engage with stakeholders, including individual donors, corporate partners, community leaders and the media, in order to continue raising awareness and funds to fulfill their missions.
These charitable changes will affect everyone.
Thompson co-wrote an article published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy that outlines the uncertainty nonprofits are facing as a result of the new law. According to the article, economists believe the congressional tax cuts will depress charitable giving by $13 billion to $20 billion annually, which they predict will lead to the elimination of up to 264,000 nonprofit jobs.
Nonprofits need to lean on their allies for financial and advocacy support as well as manpower. Local community leaders and corporate partners have access to connections and reach a broader audience to build awareness for causes and take action. Similarly, the media can be a nonprofit’s friend, helping to put a human face to the great work behind-the-scenes which helps communities and can pull at the heart strings of new and existing donors and volunteers. And, individuals will continue to rally and support missions for which they are passionate.
The solution starts with us.
Last year, The Giving Institute released an annual report that found American individuals, estates, foundations and corporations contributed an estimated $390.05 billion to U.S. charities in 2016. Total giving rose 2.7 percent from 2015, which was largely in part due to individual giving, which increased by nearly four percent in 2016.
While the political climate may influence some donors’ decisions to give in 2018, it’s important that we continue to show love for our local charities. Individuals and companies need to step in to help support nonprofits, whether it’s donating time, money or other resources, so they can continue to provide critical health and human services for the public that the government is not.
Spread the love!