On Philanthropy: Your 2020 Holiday Song

The holidays may look different this year, but the spirit of philanthropy remains

Chestnuts roasting on an open fireContributed by AFPSEWI
Milwaukee Business Journal, December 11, 2020 Issue

The year 2020 has been unprecedented in so many ways.  It only follows that the year’s nonstop changes would affect the holidays as well.  That explains the song I heard on the radio the other day: 

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Coronavirus all around
CARES Act tax law changes now will inspire
Good donors to spread their money around…”

Okay, I didn’t really hear that on the radio – but I wish I had.  The actionable nugget there is that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is allowing donors to deduct up to 100% of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), or up to $300 if you choose not to itemize, for charitable gifts made in 2020.

My hypothetical holiday jingle would also come with a reminder for all radio listeners:  you still have time to act on this new rule through a philanthropic gift of your own.  Let’s face it: a year of pandemic has frayed the quality of life for millions of Americans.  And the uncertainty continues, as we wait to see if government will provide any additional relief. 

Although uncertainty remains, so does a spirit of hope.  At a time when the need couldn’t be greater, the CARES Act encourages all of us to make charitable contributions.

Right now, just in time, your donations to help families in need will go further than ever before. Please consider a tax-deductible gift to a nonprofit that is helping to make the season bright.

On Philanthropy appears monthly in the Milwaukee Business Journal for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter.  This month’s column is contributed by Ellen Wilkinson.