Filed under: General Charity Musings | Tags: globalphilanthropy.ca, obama tax plan, philanthropy.com, tax receipts
Obama’s budget has certainly been in the press a lot lately, and although I’m Canadian I have had my fair share of budget discussions, either with my American co-workers or with friends. One part of Obama’s plans that has certainly caught my interest is the reduction of tax incentives for the wealthy to donate to charities. According to this article on philanthropy.com, the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy has estimated that billions of donations could be lost due to Obama’s plans. The White House, however, states that the plan won’t hurt nonprofits during the recession because the plan isn’t slated to come into effect until 2010.
Several blog posts ago I had mentioned the Motivations and Barriers report published by the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy. Back then I had focused on the barriers to giving, but it’s interesting to note the motivations as well, because 13% of all Canadian donors cited government tax breaks as a motivation for giving. In the US it seems that it’s debatable whether tax breaks actually motivate any giving at all. Mark Blumberg of globalphilanthropy.ca gives a concise summary of the arguments here; the main point being that to begin with Americans were only getting at most a 33-35% break. A drop to 28% can mean very little difference, especially when compared to the generous 40%-50% that Canadians can get.
One thing we’ve been discussing for Charity CHAMPS is how important it would be to offer tax receipts if we take micro-donations. To begin with micro-donations are so small that I’m not sure it’ll make a difference, but if people were to give enough for it to matter, then I wonder if we’ll start seeing that the Canadians ask for receipts more often than Americans. Hmm….