Newsbits – December 2018

SEE ALSO >>> Nonprofits

Senators pursue charitable giving data

Will the recent federal tax overhaul hurt charitable giving? Two U.S. senators want an answer in hard facts. Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) have sent the Trump administration a letter asking it to provide available data on charitable deductions in 2018. They note that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s near doubling of the standard deduction changes the incentives for taxpayers to itemize and claim the charitable deduction.

The senators also cite two nonpartisan think tanks that estimate this could result in a drop in charitable giving of 4% to 5%.  In addition to currently available data, the senators request quarterly data on the number of charitable deductions claimed, the average size of donations and, when available, a comparison to the previous 10 years.

Cryptocurrency campaign launched

The largest independent evaluator of U.S. nonprofits has launched a campaign to accept donations made with BitCoin and BitCash cryptocurrency as charitable gifts. Like the organizations it reports on, Charity Navigator is a nonprofit, supported mainly by individual donors. Its decision to accept cryptocurrency may indicate that nonprofits are starting to recognize blockchain technology (a public digitized ledger or database in a cryptocurrency network, which inalterably records and shares secure information) as another viable channel for social investors to make tax-deductible donations.

Wealthy investors leverage new tax law to cut taxes, fight poverty

Some little-publicized provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) are prompting investors to join the battle against poverty. The TCJA establishes Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) within low-income communities. There, investors can fund development and redevelopment projects by reinvesting their profits that are short- and long-term capital gains. In addition to deferring the tax on their current investment gains, the investors will see taxes due on them gradually reduced over time as investors obtain incremental steps-up in basis.

Some billionaire philanthropists are already jumping in. In North Charleston, SC, for example, real estate investors are rehabbing an abandoned school into a tech incubator, with backing from venture capital firms.

How NFPs communicate

A new study released by Nonprofit Marketing Guide, a communications consultant for nonprofits, digs into recent developments in nonprofit communications. The 2018 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report finds, among other things, that, on average, nonprofits send out two print newsletters, three print appeals and eight press releases in a year. Half of nonprofits use editorial calendars and editorial meetings, and about two-thirds repurpose content. Effective nonprofit communicators are even more likely to use calendars, meetings and repurposed content. Only one-third of less-effective nonprofit communicators employ such best practices.

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