Lankford, Coons, Colleagues Advocate for More Charitable Giving to America’s Nonprofits, Houses of Worship, Religious Organizations, and Charities

WASHINGTON, DC –  Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Raphael Warnock (R-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today introduced the Charitable Act to expand and extend the expired non-itemized deduction for charitable giving that would ensure Americans who donate to charities, houses of worship, religious organizations, and other nonprofits of their choice are able to deduct that donation from their federal taxes at a higher level than the previous $300 deduction.  


Specifically, the bill would make available to taxpayers, who do not itemize on their tax return, a below-the-line deduction for charitable giving on federal income taxes valued at up to one-third of the standard deduction (around $4,500 for an individual filer and around $9,000 for married joint filers). The standard deductions for tax year 2023 are $13,850 for individual filers and those married filing separately and $27,700 for married joint filers.


“Our families, our churches and other nonprofits are the first and most important safety net for the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Lankford. “Our nonprofits provide our neighborhoods and families vital job training, compassionate homeless assistance, food in times of crisis, and spiritual counsel during our best and worst days. As Oklahomans and Americans donate their time, money, and resources to our nation’s nonprofits so they can serve people, they should be able to deduct more from their federal taxes as an incentive to financially support nonprofits since these services are often in place of government benefits.”


“In Delaware and across our nation, we’ve always stepped up in extraordinary ways to meet the needs of our communities,” said Coons. “People of all means gave freely to charities, houses of worship, and other nonprofits last year to the tune of $449 billion last year. I am proud to have worked on the Charitable Act that will expand and extend the deductions Americans can claim to encourage even more Americans to embrace the civic virtue of charitable giving.”


“Nonprofits in Maine and throughout the country play a pivotal role in aiding and assisting our underserved communities,” said Collins. “By encouraging more Americans to donate to charitable causes, this bipartisan bill would help give these dedicated organizations the support they need as they continue to serve the public.”


“Charitable donations are a lifeline for many nonprofits, helping to keep doors open and continue much-needed services for local residents. As our communities continue their recovery from the pandemic, it’s critical that we ensure non-profit organizations on the frontlines assisting families are supported. Our legislation would make an overdue, commonsense change to offset the effects of the 2017 tax law, which weakened funding options for non-profits nationwide. It’s time for Congress to take action to better support important nonprofit organizations by implementing tax incentives that encourage Granite Staters and Americans to contribute where they can to cherished causes,” said Shaheen.


“Charitable, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations play a crucial role in supporting our communities. This bill would provide further incentives for individuals to donate, strengthening these vital organizations,” said Rubio.


“Churches, charitable organizations, and nonprofits provide invaluable services in our state and, for many in our society, they are places of assistance and refuge,” said Cortez Masto. “Nevadans supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our communities should be rewarded for their charity and generosity through a tax break.”


The bill is supported by numerous nonprofits including YMCA, United Way, Goodwill Industries, and the American Heart Association in addition to coalitions of thousands of nonprofits including the Charitable Giving Coalition (175 member organizations), the National Council of Nonprofits (25,000 member organizations), Leadership18, the Nonprofit Alliance, United Philanthropy Forum, the National Philanthropic Trust, Jewish Federations of North America, Independent Sector, Philanthropy Southwest, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Faith & Giving Coalition.


“Nonprofits need tools like the nonitemizer deduction proposed by the Charitable Act to meet growing and changing community needs,” said YMCA of the USA President and CEO Suzanne McCormick. “As expected, the universal charitable deduction enacted temporarily during the height of the pandemic unlocked more giving. Making the deduction permanent will provide an ongoing incentive to increase giving and also will counteract inflation. Senators Lankford and Coons understand that the universal charitable deduction helps nonprofits like the Y make their communities stronger. I’m grateful for their leadership.”


“United Way is a global network of neighbors helping neighbors – from fighting for access to education to responding when disaster strikes,” said Angela F. Williams, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “Nonprofits like ours are on the frontlines of addressing community needs, and we rely on the generous donations of everyday Americans to carry out our mission. I am proud to support the bipartisan Charitable Act, which will make it easier and fairer for Americans to give back to their communities and the charitable causes they support.”


Lankford is Chairman of the Senate Values Action Team and is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight. Lankford previously wrote an opinion piece in The Hill on the need to invest in our nation’s nonprofits as they helped meet the needs of many Americans, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.