How Will The New Tax Code Affect OLSHF?

The other day I received an email from a dedicated Lion and OLSHF supporter who is concerned about how the new federal Tax Code will affect nonprofits and what, if any, “damages” this might cause the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation.

Here’s my response, edited somewhat for brevity:

As to how the new tax code will affect OLSHF, it’s a good question and I believe a difficult one to answer with any certainty. As you likely know, the new tax code will double the standardized deduction, leading fewer people to itemize their deductions. So, there will possibly be fewer people motivated to make a charitable donation solely for the purpose of receiving a tax deduction. Does that mean these people will stop donating to charity? Possibly yes, but possibly no.

As for OLSHF, we’ve worked very hard the past few years to increase the number of our individual donors and certainly many of these donors may choose not to itemize – or they already don’t anyway. The question is, are these donors motivated by the tax deduction or do they give for other reasons, such as altruism? Probably a little of both, right?

For the most part, I believe that OLSHF donors support the Foundation for the following reasons:

  • Program Impact – They respect how we help people see and hear
  • Appreciation – They have a relative or know someone who suffered a vision or hearing issue
  • Our Mission – They believe in OLSHF, they are Lions or familiar with Lions and our work
  • Impulse – Having been invited to an OLSHF event or received a fundraising appeal and were moved by what they saw and heard
  • Recognition – They like the positive feeling of knowing others respect and appreciate their support
  • Benefit – They get something in return, i.e. a tax deduction

So, if these are the reasons that people give to the Foundation – and I believe that they are – then most of our donors will continue to support OLSHF regardless of the change in tax code.

These are just my thoughts and I appreciate any feedback that you have on this. Feel free to contact me at DougT@OLSHF.org – I hope that regardless of the new tax code you’ll continue to support your charity of choice.

Doug Thompson

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