Alliance Joins 60 Other Nonprofits for "Protect Giving Day" in Washington, Nov. 20

Federal Officials Will be Urged to Protect Charitable Tax Deduction, A Vital Lifeline

WASHINGTON, DC ─ On Nov. 20, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) will join more than 200 frontline nonprofit and charitable sector leaders for “Protect Giving Day.” Participants will meet with members of Congress and their staffs to urge them to protect a 100-year-old American tradition of common-sense tax policies that help support critical programs and services on which millions of Americans rely. Political leaders in Washington, D.C. are now returning their focus to deficit reduction and tax reform, which include proposed harmful changes to the charitable tax deduction, an issue of critical importance to museums.

Legislators from both parties have proposed changes to the charitable tax deduction, including limiting its value for high-income taxpayers or instituting an overall dollar cap on deductions. Proposals that threaten giving have also been offered by a range of commissions charged with finding solutions to the federal government’s long-term fiscal deficits.    

The issue is especially significant for museums, which typically derive one-third of their annual revenues from such donations. Studies estimate that such reductions in deductibility will cost nonprofits some $9.1 billion in annual charitable contributions. 

“AAM is committed to communicating the message to Congress that balancing the federal budget on the backs of museums and thousands of worthy nonprofits would harm our economy overall and hit those who need the help the most,” said Alliance president Ford W. Bell, who will join with other nonprofit leaders in making the case to Congress. “The museum field realizes that the nation needs to address its long-term fiscal challenges. But doing so by discouraging charitable donations is the wrong way to do so. Moreover, in a stubbornly sluggish economy, we should be encouraging more giving, not less.” 

“Protect Giving Day” is an initiative of the Charitable Giving Coalition, of which AAM has been part of since its inception. Joining Bell on November 20 will be leaders from such organizations as Catholic Charities, United Way and the YMCA, as well as Alliance members ranging from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to the San Diego Zoo.

“Our system of charitable giving is distinctly American,” Bell continued. “Simply, there is nothing like it in the world, and the generosity of Americans—supported by the current charitable deduction–produces nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars in charitable donations each year. Museums of all types and sizes, all across the country, rely on these contributions to provide invaluable public service to their communities.”

AAM members and members of the public can lend their voices to this effort by visiting the website (www.aam-us.org/advocacy), where you can find simple tools to enable individuals to express their support of charitable deductibility to their members of Congress—with just a few clicks. In addition, the Charitable Giving Coalition website (www.protectgiving.org) has additional tools to facilitate communicating this critical message to elected leaders. 

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. With more than 20,000 individual, 3,000 institutional and 300 corporate members, the Alliance is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

About The Charitable Giving Coalition

Representing private and community foundations, their grantees and independent charities, the Charitable Giving Coalition’s members include United Way Worldwide, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities USA, Jewish Federations of North America, the American Council on Education, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Independent Sector, the Council on Foundations and The Philanthropy Roundtable, among others. Formed in 2009, the coalition is a broad cross-section of nonprofit organizations across the country, including both the nonprofit organizations themselves and the associations and umbrella groups that serve their needs. The coalition is dedicated to preserving the charitable giving incentive that ensures that our nation's charities receive the funds necessary to fulfill their essential philanthropic missions. The coalition provides a unique and unified voice on Capitol Hill on issues affecting the charitable deduction, a voice composed of both direct lobbying and robust grassroots advocacy. www.protectgiving.org, @protectgiving, #protectgiving

Media Contact

Dewey Blanton
Alliance Communications
202-218-7704