“Last year my donations didn’t matter.”
This is what my mom said to me the other day. We were having a conversation about the upcoming April 15th tax returns deadline here in the states.
My mom, after decades of itemizing deductions — including charitable contributions — chose to use the standard deduction.
The January 2018 tax law nearly doubled the standard deduction amount. And even though it’s been over 15 months since the law went into effect, we are now starting seeing the impact of it. People are finishing their taxes and noticing the changes.
But here's some good news:
Even though many people traditionally rush to send in contributions in December, not everyone gives based on a tax incentive.
Here is my infographic of 25 reasons people give to charities… based on the work of fundraiser and author Mal Warwick.
More good news:
Just under 25% of taxpayers itemized their deductions before the 2018 tax year. The vast majority of people have been using the standard deduction right along. So their giving habits won’t likely change.
But… based on IRS estimates, approximately 13% of taxpayers will switch from itemized to standard this year.
The nonprofits that will feel the pain are those who haven’t been stewarding their donors well. These are organizations that don’t thank their donors enough. And they don’t report back to their donors enough either.
This morning on Twitter, fundraiser Cherian Koshy summarized the situation so brilliantly:
So, nonprofits that haven’t been donor-centric in their fundraising will be caught "swimming naked."
My mom’s reaction to her charitable giving gives me pause about what’s to come for such exposed charities.
The sad reality is...
The charities that my mom gives to have failed her. They haven’t made her feel special. They haven’t communicated what was accomplished with her donations.
And here’s the real shame:
My mom has been making the world a better place with her gifts, but she doesn’t know it.
And that’s the charities’ fault.
How do you show your donors that their gifts are worth far more than a tax deduction?
For an example of a small organization that loves their donors every single step of the way, check out my blog post here.