Donors and taxes and deficits, oh my

There has been lots of discussion in the last few news cycles about deficit reduction proposals primarily because the bipartisan task force has issued their draft document. So, I’ve been doing a little reading on the subject and discovered that the tax deduction for charitable contributions is one of the things on the “chopping block”.

I started off very opposed to the idea of eliminating the charitable tax deduction. However, I slowly moved from this position because deficit and debt elimination will require sacrifices from everyone in America and not just a few of us. So, I started reading more and keeping an open mind. Needless to say, I’m not quite sure where I am at, but I do know: 1) that donors don’t give because of a tax deduction and 2) wealthier donors benefit more than middle class and working class donors from this tax break. For the average donor, the tax deduction is a nice benefit but definitely not the driving motivation.

Check out this article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy ( and weigh-in with your thoughts. I know I am interested in hearing what others have to say.


About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on November 22, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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