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Trump Tax Plan Mixed on Charitable Giving

September 30, 2015

Proposal Would Keep Charitable Deduction Intact, While Keeping Tax on Gifts from Wealthy Donors

(Arlington, VA.) – In response to presidential candidate Donald Trump’s tax reform plan, Andrew Watt, FInstF, the president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), released the following statement:

With AFP’s mission to increase and enhance charitable giving, I am encouraged to see that Donald Trump’s tax plan does not directly limit the charitable deduction, which is one of the key foundations of America’s great tradition of philanthropy.

However, the Trump plan does increase the impact of the Pease Limitation on itemized deductions, including the charitable deduction, that certain taxpayers are allowed. This penalty for high-income taxpayers could result in a decrease in charitable giving, and we urge Mr. Trump and other presidential candidates to reconsider inclusion of the increased Pease Limitation in their tax plans.

As more candidates introduce their tax proposals, we hope that they will continue to protect—or go even a step further and enhance—the charitable deduction and the impact it can make on communities across the United States.

Philanthropy and the charitable deduction are unique in that they encourage Americans to think about their neighbors and people around the world, and engage in the selfless act of giving. We should be working to encourage more philanthropy, not limit it, and the charitable deduction is a critical part of that process.

Americans give generously to charitable causes—to the tune of nearly $350 billion every year—because we care for our neighbors and fellow citizens, and by helping each other out, we improve our communities and the world. But research shows that the deduction plays an important role in how much Americans give, especially as gifts get bigger. In addition, the deduction sends dollars back to charities and communities: for every tax dollar invested through the deduction, nonprofits and the people they serve receive approximately $2.50 in charitable services.

For more information about AFP’s views on philanthropy and the charitable deduction, including AFP’s testimony before Congress on the importance of the deduction, email Michael Nilsen at

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