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Press Release

Americans Agree: Charitable Tax Deduction Vital to Nonprofits

Alexandria, VA (November 29, 2012) – United Way Worldwide, today released the results of a nationally representative poll illustrating that Americans intuitively understand the value of the charitable tax deduction. United Way education, income and health initiatives depend on donors from communities throughout the United States, and without tax incentives for charitable contributions, 30 percent of Americans would reduce their giving levels.

United Way, a network of more than 1,200 community-based organizations covering nearly 100 percent of the United States, advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all.

“It is the children and families all across America that will suffer if the charitable deduction is scaled back or eliminated.  Given the budget cuts that have already happened and others on the way, this is not the time to curtail non-profits’ ability to serve those most in need,” said United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher.

“Federal, state and local government programs are being cut, and charities are being asked to do more to sustain our society. Charities and their donors should not be targeted as a source of government revenue,” said Steve Taylor, United Way Worldwide Senior Vice President for Public Policy. “Limitation of the charitable tax deduction will impact those at the bottom of the economic spectrum.”

Among other results, the public opinion poll indicates:

  • The vast majority of Americans (79%) believe reducing or eliminating the charitable tax deduction would have a negative impact on charities and the people they serve.
  • Of those who would reduce their giving, a majority (62%) indicate they would have to reduce their contributions by a significant amount.  (26% would have to reduce their contributions by 50% or more; 36% would have to reduce their charitable giving between 25%-50%.)
  • Two out of every three Americans (67%) are opposed to reducing or eliminating the charitable tax deduction.
  • The charitable deduction is used by people of varying income levels, not just high income individuals.  The percent of people indicating they use the charitable deduction is the same for households with incomes between $50K-$100K; $100K-$150K; and $150K+.
  • Additional results address responses from high-income earners as well as the number of Americans who report giving to charity each year.

The Charitable Tax Deduction Poll was conducted from November 9 - 20, 2012, by United Way Worldwide.  The study was based on phone interviews of 2,000 adults, age 18 and older, with a margin of error of +/-2.2% at the 95% confidence level.   It is a representative sample of the U.S. adult population.  




About United Way

United Way is a worldwide network in 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. It advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health.  United Way recruits people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.  LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change. For more information about United Way, please visit: