For example, I was in Mexico a couple of months ago talking with some nonprofits about fundraising. I started to talk about the different proposals in the U.S. to limit the value of the charitable deduction.
You should have heard the uproar. Most of the audience was incredulous that the government would even consider doing such a thing, and exhorted me—and all of their U.S. counterparts—to fight strongly against these proposals. In fact, I think they were more upset than I was! They saw the U.S. system as a model for what they wanted their country’s sector to be like, and felt that a step backwards in the U.S. would be a step backwards for them as well.
While I’ve been against proposals to limit the charitable deduction, I hadn’t considered that perspective, and it’s another important reason that we have to defend the deduction and the charitable incentives that we have in place. We have to be active in public policy and advocacy, but it’s not just our system and tradition on the line, but perhaps those of other countries as well.
I hope you’ve been and will continue to be active in government relations and policy that affects fundraising and philanthropy. The strength of AFP’s lobbying lies in its grassroots—the messages that come from each member. We have a great public policy program at AFP, but we need your involvement. You can learn more about our policy work here.
We sometimes take it for granted but our philanthropic system is worth fighting for—and not just for ourselves but for charities and philanthropy around the world.