News for Nonprofits – August 2023

Will Universal Charitable Deduction Get Another Bite at the Apple?

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has introduced legislation to expand and extend the nonitemized deduction for charitable giving. Dubbed the Charitable Act, the bill would increase the previous $300 deduction permitted in 2020 and 2021 (or $600 for married couples filing jointly in 2021). The bill would allow taxpayers who don’t itemize their deductions to claim a “below-the-line” deduction for charitable contributions, up to one-third of the standard deduction. For 2023, the year the bill would take effect, individuals could deduct about $4,500 and married joint filers could deduct approximately $9,000.

What might happen if the below-the-line deduction returns? The annual Fundraising Effectiveness Survey, a project of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy, reported a 15% increase in charitable gifts of $250 or more in 2020. Notably, it also found a 28% increase in $300 gifts made on December 31, 2020.

Nonprofit Salaries Jumped in 2022

In the shadow of a tight labor market and the so-called Great Resignation, nonprofit organizations reported overall average salary increases of almost 6% for all staff in 2022, with projections for increases of more than 5% for 2023. That’s just one of the tidbits in The NonProfit Times’ nearly 600-page “2023 Nonprofit Organizations Salary and Benefits Report.”

According to The NonProfit Times, executives enjoyed an average increase of 5.72%. The average base salary for a chief executive officer/president/executive director was $150,471 in 2022. The median salary was $125,000 and the maximum was $859,455.

The survey also found the pandemic has significantly affected benefits such as flexible work arrangements and hybrid workplaces. Fifty-eight percent of respondents offer flextime, and 56% offer a hybrid workplace. Subsidized training and professional development (46.6%), remote worksites (42.5%) and employee assistance plans (40.6%) also are popular.

Public Views of Nonprofits Are a Mixed Bag

The April 2023 report from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy “What Americans Think About Philanthropy and Nonprofits” contains both good and bad news. Although Americans are generally positive about charitable giving and nonprofits, they seem unfamiliar with the far-reaching impact of such organizations.

More than three-quarters of the 1,334 Americans surveyed believe society benefits from nonprofits, but just 5.4% of respondents reported they or someone in their family had received services from a nonprofit last year. This suggests that many Americans don’t recognize the wide-ranging services nonprofits provide — from education, disaster relief and religious services to amateur athletics, civic beautification and the arts.

The survey also indicates that Americans trust nonprofits more than government or business, although trust levels for all three sectors remain low.