Inside Sources Op-Ed: ‘Congress Should Pass the Universal Giving and Pandemic Recovery Act’

Congress should make universal giving a priority, especially during tough economic times. Inflation is eating into everyone’s budget and, unfortunately, charitable donations are often the first line item to go when families reassess their budget. Lawmakers should acknowledge this struggle and make it easier for American families to continue their charitable giving despite market volatility and record inflation, writes DonorsTrust Communications and Marketing Manager Carolyn Bolton.

Here is an excerpt from the Inside Sources column:

Congress should pass the Universal Giving and Pandemic Recovery Act. If enacted, the bipartisan bill would renew and create an even bigger universal charitable deduction than the one rolled out in 2020 as part of the pandemic relief package.

The universal charitable tax deduction enacted two years ago was only temporary but enabled taxpayers who don’t itemize to claim up to $300 ($600 for joint filers) in charitable tax deductions. As it turns out, the deduction was popular among non-itemizers.

As John Biedermann, chair of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, told the Nonprofit Times, he found it “striking” that, on New Year’s Eve 2020, there was a 28 percent spike in $300 charitable gifts — “exactly the maximum amount a donor can take using the universal charitable deduction.”

Moreover, according to the Philanthropy Roundtable, the legislation would make contributions to donor-advised funds eligible for the universal charitable tax deduction. This would help democratize the financial tool even more and allow everyday givers to likewise grow their charitable dollars.

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