News for Nonprofits – Winter 2020

Majority of charities worldwide report donation decline

A survey conducted by CAF America, a global nonprofit grant-making organization, found that 73% of the 880 organizations in 122 countries queried have seen a decline in contributions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Half of those surveyed from April 30 through May 6, 2020, indicated that they expect to see revenue decline by more than 20% over the next year. Only 6% expect giving to increase.

These results line up with a recent report from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP), which is administered by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. It found that giving to charitable organizations in the United States and Canada fell 6% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same time last year, driven by an 11% plunge in March alone.

COVID-19 boosts possibility of NFP unionizing

The COVID-19 crisis has prompted a surge in interest in unionization among nonprofit employees. According to an article in the Nonprofit Quarterly, the pandemic “has created a sense of urgency around workers’ involvement in decisions about organizational directions and employee benefits.”

Unions, such as the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU) and the Office and Professional Employees International Union, have seen a marked uptick in inquiries from employees about forming bargaining units for nonprofits. In August 2019, the article says, the NPEU was involved at 14 nonprofits; by May 2020, that number had almost doubled, with 27 bargaining units at some stage of recognition.

NPEU says it’s been receiving an average of one lead per day for potential bargaining units. In a 16-day period in April, seven workplaces announced organizing campaigns with the union.

Proposed legislation would expand charitable-giving deduction

Taking advantage of an opening provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives has introduced a bill that would increase the allowable above-the-line deduction for charitable deductions (S. 4032 and H.R. 7324). The CARES Act created a new $300 deduction for cash contributions to qualified charities in 2020, available to all taxpayers regardless of whether they itemize their deductions.

The bill would allow the above-the-line deduction for up to one-third of the standard deduction (around $4,000 for an individual filer and $8,000 for married joint filers). The deduction would be available for 2019 and 2020. Donors could treat contributions made after December 31, 2019, and before July 15, 2020, as made in 2019. A taxpayer would need to file an amended return to claim the benefit for 2019.