If you haven’t noticed, pretty much all “Not for Profit, Public Benefit Organizations” are shaking our tin cups this month. This tradition comes from two conventions: The ‘Season of Giving,’ when we all wear our generosity on our sleeves; and for those of you who file “Schedule C” on your tax returns, the squirrelling away of money to diminish your Federal Income Tax liability.
Of course we all hope that the spirit of generosity and gratitude continues to be part of the fabric of our culture, but one of the perverse twists of the new “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” is the squinching around the tax code to make it less “tax beneficial” to contribute to Public Benefit organizations.
This will have a lot of impact on Health and Human Services organizations – particularly the large traditional groups that receive charitable donations from folks who are not necessarily “issues focused” and just want to give to an organization that serves the public. But it remains to be seen how this bill will also affect organizations such as ours who garner our support from people who are informed about our banner issue.
All else being equal; for those of you who like supporting our work out of the goodness of your hearts, we will always be grateful. But for those of you who have the added incentive of registering your contributions on your Schedule C, this may be the last year that this practice will make a difference to your tax liability. We also remain grateful, and hope you will keep us on your list of causes worthy of your support – even without the tax benefits.
For the record; our “Year End Campaigns” constitute about 10% of our budget. A preponderance of our support comes from Family Foundations. A big part of our Year End effort is outreach. It gives us a chance to reflect on our accomplishments, and share with our donors the harvest of their generosity.
This change in our national conservation climate (and funding model) promises to be exciting. This year we hope to also receive “fee for service grants” for some research projects we are proposing, but the Federal agencies that would otherwise fund ocean research projects are being gutted.
Stay tuned, and thanks so much for your support!