National Hospice Foundation’s Vice President of Philanthropy, Sarah Meltzer, answers some questions regarding tax reform and how it may influence donors.
How could the new tax bill impact charitable organizations and giving patterns?
In simple terms, the tax bill doubles the standard deduction and repeals the estate tax (also known as the inheritance tax). Since more Americans will do better on their taxes by taking the increased standard deduction—as opposed to itemizing their deductions—the tax incentive for those taxpayers to make charitable gifts will disappear. According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, with the doubling of the standard deduction under the tax bill, the number of Americans who itemize their taxes will drop by 30 million.
With regards to the estate tax, charitable deductions are one of the few deductions estates can claim to minimize their tax liability. According to the recently released Giving USA 2017, bequests from estates contributed approximately $30 billion to the nonprofit sector in 2016. Eliminating the estate tax would no longer encourage families to minimize their tax liability through charitable giving.
Are you concerned about this and do you think it will impact NHF?
The changes could affect our donations and subsequently those we serve. However, our donors’ desire to give might not be tied to tax policy. They are motivated by the care and dedication of our hospice professionals at the bedside. I am honored that many will continue to give to honor a loved one by supporting hospice and palliative care.
How do donors make a difference when they support NHF?
Support to NHF means a patient can have one last experience through the Lighthouse of Hope Fund; a Veteran will have quality care at the end of life through We Honor Veterans; and hospices affected by hurricanes, earthquakes and fires will get support through NHF’s Disaster Relief Fund. Every gift makes a difference in the work done by hospice and palliative care professionals working across the country.
What are some other ways people can support NHF?
There are many ways to support our important work. Give through your workplace, either through the Combined Federal Campaign or other giving mechanism (check to see if your company will match your gift!). Include NHF in your will and estate plans. Donate gifts of stock and securities. Sell unwanted items on eBay and donate the proceeds to NHF. Every gift makes a big impact.
# # #
National Hospice Foundation is the fundraising affiliate of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. As the national charity for end-of-life care, NHF is responsible for soliciting and stewarding charitable gifts received to National Hospice. Learn more about National Hospice Foundation.