The Charitable Act Encourages the Generosity that Strengthens U.S. Communities

Philanthropy Roundtable welcomes the Charitable Act and applauds the leadership of Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) as well as the bipartisan group of co-sponsors for introducing this measure last week. This bill is crucial for the continued vibrancy of the charitable landscape, the donors who support it and the communities charities serve.

Philanthropy Roundtable signed a coalition letter, along with hundreds of other groups, in support of the Charitable Act. As explained in the letter, the legislation “would restore and expand the charitable deduction for non-itemizing taxpayers, also known as the universal charitable deduction.” This means any individual taxpayer could deduct up to approximately $4,600 on their annual tax filing or $9,200 for joint filers.

The associated tax benefits of charitable giving should not be limited to those who itemize their tax deductions. We saw the vital impact the universal charitable deduction had as generous charitable giving provided a lifeline during the 2020 pandemic and bolstered the subsequent economic recovery. Thanks in part to these measures, charitable giving reached record highs of $471.44 billion in 2020 and $484.85 billion in 2021, according to Giving USA’s 2021 and 2022 reports.

Giving data also shows a significant uptick in smaller gifts in years when the deduction was implemented. The Fundraising Effectiveness Project found that gifts under $250 grew by 15.3% in 2020 compared to 2019 and noted a 28% increase in $300 gifts, the exact amount allowed for a deduction under prior measures.

“Now, more than ever, it is vital to encourage American generosity that supports the critical work charities are doing to provide pathways to opportunity, strengthen our communities and ultimately improve the lives of people from all backgrounds,” said Elise Westhoff, president and CEO of Philanthropy Roundtable. “We’d like to see more Americans engaged in charitable giving, including those who don’t itemize on their tax returns or give through a donor-advised fund. The Charitable Act is a positive step toward fostering a more vibrant charitable landscape.”

Read the full coalition letter in support of the Charitable Act here.

Get the Latest News on the Freedom to Give

Sign up today for our Philanthropic Freedom Newsletter, and each month we’ll send you the latest public policy news from around the country, plus policy research, analysis and more.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.