Tax changes: Will They Impact Your Nonprofit Clients?

Tax changes: Will They Impact Your Nonprofit Clients? – by Ron Rescigno

As a mailer who also does print and consults with nonprofits on strategies for raising more money, I’ve been asked my opinion on the effect President Trump’s tax bill is going to have on US charities.

As a value added to the commodity of print and mail, I’ve learned that my clients look to me to help shine a light on their future fundraising efforts. Because Rescigno’s has transitioned into “more than simply” print and mail, our clients depend on us to help them be better informed.

What I’m suggesting to you here in this blog is that there is money to be had in being well informed on the issues that are most important to your clientele (be it in the non or for profit arena).

As such, this is what I’ve been sharing with my clients – 99% of whom are fundraisers:

The tax bill is expected to greatly reduce the number of citizens who will make a gift to a nonprofit organization.  That reduction is expected to be focused mainly in gifts from the middle class.  For the richest of Americans, the tax break will continue to be a great incentive to giving.

So the fear is that the new tax code will be a deterrent for Your Average Jane and Joe to give to charities.  And it is a real and legitimate fear, though too early in the year to know just how deeply this will be felt by the nonprofit fundraising community.

While no one expects the middle class to stop giving to charity, the new tax code changes are expected to affect both the size and the timing of gifts.

Recently, I read that a higher percentage of Americans give to charities than vote.  Traditionally, the tax incentive has encouraged individual giving.  Now that the number of people who will qualify for the tax deduction is projected to fall from 30% to as low as 5%, however, there is expected to be a significant shift in the way gifts are made, if not in the number of gifts that are made.

So, if you have any nonprofit clients and they come to you wanting to know your “professional opinion” on the new tax bill, this is what I would suggest you offer to them:

Tell them not to give up on their middle class donors just yet.  Advise them to go out and make the case for the need more strongly than ever before because the need in the community, town, city, whatever is not going away.

And remember, the best way to state the need is in an impactful direct mail piece as well as messages via email and other social media vehicles.

And when you send out that invoice, remember to add a little something for the educational component you’ve added to your list of services.

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If anyone would like to contact Ron or Sue Rescigno – longtime members of the former MFSA family – email them at: [email protected] or [email protected].

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