Your generosity is immense. You give to house the homeless, to help kids learn, to preserve our environment, to experience the richness of the arts, to discover medical cures. Yet, unbelievably, there are current proposals on Capitol Hill that threaten support for the valuable work of charities. Recently,
I returned from visiting Washington, D.C., and the pressure to find revenue is building—on both sides of the aisle. As a result, we can expect to hear serious discussions about charitable giving as Congress prepares for tax reform that likely will take place after the upcoming presidential election. While people don’t give solely because of a tax deduction, the tax laws often do have a significant effect on the timing and amount of a charitable gifts. High-income earners give over half of all charitable donations.
Unfortunately, current discussions about capping the charitable deduction are targeted at these very people—those earning more than $200,000 a year. Experts estimate that such a cap could cause a nearly $6 billion decrease in charitable giving across the country each year. Furthermore, a few folks are even questioning whether or not institutions like health care systems, large universities and art museums should be allowed to operate as tax-exempt public charities. If some of the current
proposals become law, it is likely that some people will give less. Yet as resources decline, the services of many nonprofits will be needed even more. It’s hard to find the public benefit in policies that shift the role of addressing many of our communities’ needs away from private donors and puts it squarely back in the over-burdened government’s lap. Now is not the time to experiment with the tax laws that affect public charities. Instead, we need to do everything we can to encourage the American spirit of generously giving back.
President and CEO
Paraplegic Rugby player thanks CFT for a scholarship that has improved her life
After becoming a paraplegic due to neurological complications of Lyme disease, Emily Shryock refused to let her disability take away her zeal for life. She started playing rugby, which helped her gain a new sense of confidence and independence. She moved to Austin, Texas, when she was recruited by the Texas Stampede Wheelchair Rugby Team. She is the only woman on the team and only the second woman in the U.S. to ever make it to the national level in the sport.
“I wanted to write and say how grateful I am to have been selected as a recipient of the Kristofer Robinson Scholarship. I just finished my first semester toward my Master of Science in Social Work degree at the University of Texas at Austin, and I plan to graduate in 2014. Attending grad school has many challenges, but thanks to the scholarship, financial l concerns relating to school will be one less obstacle in the path of my education. Having my MSSW will open the doors to many future opportunities and will allow me to be more effective in my work educating and advocating with and for people with disabilities.
Kristofer Robinson Scholarship recipient
The Kristofer Robinson Scholarship, which supports quadriplegic and paraplegic individuals in Texas, was established at CFT by Kristofer Robinson, who became a quadriplegic as the result of a car accident on I-635 in 2000.
Insights on Charitable Giving
May 8 Seminar Illuminated Election-year Tax Law Changes
“Charitable and estate planning laws are changing as new developments arise during an election year in Washington. This seminar proved valuable to me and other advisors as we integrate philanthropy into our financial and estate planning practices.”
—J. Richard Joyner, Tolleson Wealth Management
Speaker Jonathan Ackerman joked, “If the opposite of pro is con, is the opposite of progress Congress?”