The New Tax Law & Charitable Giving – Are you prepared?


Listening to the Hamilton soundtrack is a daily ritual on the car ride to school for my children…they have nearly all of the songs memorized (I skip the ones with bad language) and they truly enjoy learning the history of our fore fathers and how they each played a key role in forming our government.

Many of the songs touch on taxes and with that come many questions from the kids on why, what and how they work. Similar questions on taxes remain a daily topic especially in the nonprofit industry, as there are many inquiries on how the new tax bill will affect our organizations’ bottom line.

The new tax law increases the standard deduction – the amount taxpayers can claim without itemizing which will result in fewer Americans having a reason to itemize their giving and in essence eliminating an incentive for giving. Some experts predict more than 25 million Americans will choose not to itemize their returns which has many nonprofits legitimately concerned about a decrease in giving, especially from donors from the middle-class.

It is our responsibility to stay informed of the new law and communicate with our donors what impact it may have on the organization. The following should be considered…

  1. Inquire with the donor and be open to ask them how the new tax law will affect their charitable giving
  2. Avoid putting your “tax expert” hat on and always refer them to consult with their tax specialist
  3. Keep tabs on any uncharacteristic gaps in giving – this may serve as a lever to encourage increased giving from your most committed donors
  4. Do your research and stay on top of the latest updates on how the new tax law may affect the sector…one such resource is the Council of Nonprofits at,

For your most committed donors, it’s probably safe to assume they are giving because of their strong belief in the mission. As fundraisers, we need to continue to communicate and stress the value of the services provided by our organizations and clearly and consistently show the impact…we are all well aware that showing impact will win them over every time.

by: Tim Kennedy, Associate Vice President, HUB Philanthropic Solutions


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