WILLS POINT, TX – Fidelity Charitable published an article recently that discussed the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on charitable giving to NGOs and FBOs. Fidelity noted that
“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended daily routines and impacted communities across the world in unprecedented ways. No corner of our society has been left untouched by the effects of the pandemic, including the nonprofit sector . . . No organization is isolated from the effects of the crisis.”
Participation, especially with small to medium-sized charities, has been hampered by stay-at-home directives from state and local governments. Some NGOs and FBOs suffered operational setbacks as their staff attendance has been limited either by the virus, by having had contact with an infected individual, or out of an abundance of caution.
Nonprofits rely heavily upon volunteers. Nearly half of those who had been recent or regular volunteers for NGOs and FBOs have said that they would or had cut back on volunteering. This is primarily to reduce exposure. This is especially representative of the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers, of whom 61% and 57% indicated a reduction in time spent volunteering.
On the upside, nearly 20% of Gen Xers and more than 30% of Millennials had or expected to increase time volunteering in relief efforts.
Many families have had to reassess their spending due to layoffs and business closures over which they had no control. Ensuring that their own families had food and other essentials became their number one priority. And rightly so.
Much like volunteering, it was Gen Xers and Baby Boomers who felt the need to reduce their charitable giving at 25% and 14%, respectively.
Nearly half of Millennials expected to boost their charitable giving.
Overall, about half of all individuals questioned hoped to maintain charitable donations at their current rate.
Ultimately, individual and family support for nonprofits depend upon one of two incentives: tax benefits or a compassionate heart.
The two-trillion dollar CARES Act that provides relief for Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic includes two incentives meant to stimulate charitable giving.
- The act provides for a one-time deduction of up to $300 on 2020 personal income taxes for those who do not itemize.
- For those who do itemize, the limit of 60% of adjusted gross income (AGI) on charitable donations has been lifted for 2020. When filing next April, the IRS will allow a deduction for up to 100% of a filer’s AGI.
The Bible teaches giving from a compassionate heart – regardless of taxes. The message is consistent throughout. In fact, it teaches sacrificial giving. King David said, “I will not give that which cost me nothing.” The Apostle Paul thanked the churches in Asia Minor, who had nothing to spare but gave sacrificially to support the churches in Jerusalem.
Jesus pronounced a blessing on the widow who discreetly gave her last penny as an offering.
The Father’s love for us was preeminently displayed when He gave His only begotten Son so that all who believe might have eternal life.
Jesus taught us to “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38 NKJV)
“Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Whatever your incentive, whatever your ability, NGOs and FBOs need your help now more than ever. Whether you donate or volunteer, do something.
- The Conversation, COVID-19 has exposed the limits of philanthropy
- Fidelity Charitable, COVID-19 and philanthropy: How donor behaviors are shifting amid pandemic
- Giving USA, COVID-19 Stimulus Bill Includes Charitable Giving Incentives: What This Means for Donors
- Forbes, Now Is A Great Time To Give: New Charitable Rules Incentivize Generosity During COVID-19
- The Wall Street Journal, While Covid-19 Donations Soar, Other Charities See a Big Hit to Funds
- S. Congress, S.3548 – CARES Act