The Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s (FEP) 2021 first quarter report, which shows an increase in giving and donors in the first three months of this year, is welcome news to the Charitable Giving Coalition. The report estimates a 6 percent increase in overall charitable giving and a 10 percent increase in the number of donors compared to the first quarter of 2020, which saw a decline in both giving and donors.
The new data indicates an increase in small-dollar gifts with an estimated 9.7 percent increase in donations coming from donors giving $100 or less and an estimated 4.4 percent increase in donations coming from donors giving between $101 and $500.
The increase in gifts coming from small donors is encouraging, especially following the enactment of the $300 universal charitable deduction (UCD) in March 2020. In December 2020, the UCD was extended through 2021 and, for married couples, doubled to $600. Last year was the first time in more than three decades that all taxpayers who gave – both itemizers and nonitemizers – were eligible to receive at least some tax deduction, a step toward democratizing charitable giving and encouraging more participation in civil society.
While we’re encouraged by this increase, charities and faith-based organizations are still not out of the woods. They will continue to require support as they provide necessary services to their communities through the recovery.
To continue to incentivize more giving beyond this year, Congress can increase the cap on and extend the availability of the universal charitable deduction. The Charitable Giving Coalition is working with lawmakers in both the House and Senate to advance the Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act (S. 618, H.R. 1704).
The Charitable Giving Coalition
Representing private and community foundations, their grantees and independent charities, the Charitable Giving Coalition’s members include United Way Worldwide, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities USA, the American Council on Education, Jewish Federations of North America, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Independent Sector, the Council on Foundations, and The Philanthropy Roundtable, among others. Formed in 2009, the coalition is dedicated to preserving the charitable giving incentive that ensures that our nation’s charities receive the funds necessary to fulfill their essential philanthropic missions. The coalition provides a unique and unified voice on Capitol Hill on issues affecting the charitable deduction, a voice composed of both direct lobbying and robust grassroots advocacy. www.charitablegivingcoalition.org, @CGC_DC