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Press Release

Senator Lankford (R-OK) Named United Way Champion

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) received the United Way Champion Award for his leadership on the universal charitable deduction and overall support for our nation’s charities and nonprofits. The award was presented to Lankford by Debby Hampton, the CEO of the United Way of Central Oklahoma

“Over the last few years, we have been reminded again of the powerful impact that nonprofits have on our communities,” said Lankford. “We have three safety nets in America: families, nonprofits, then finally government. Nonprofits, like United Way, are the best example of our community safety net—they come alongside our friends and neighbors in the toughest of times and know how our communities can best be served. I am committed to my work to support nonprofits so they can continue doing what they do best—serving and loving on our neighbors.”

"Senator Lankford understands the work of charities better than almost any other US Senator. And he understands the tradition of American philanthropy and why so many Americans want to give back to their communities," said Angela Williams, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide. "While people give from their hearts, taxes can present an obstacle to giving. United Way recognizes Senator Lankford for his work to remove taxation as an obstacle for millions of charitable donors.”

"For Senator Lankford's entire time in office, his support for charities in Oklahoma has been unwavering. His door has always been open to United Ways and other nonprofits across the state and, more importantly, he has asked us how he can help—and he has listened," said Debby Hampton, President and CEO of United Way of Central Oklahoma. "Senator Lankford has been a strong voice for Oklahomans in Washington, DC, and a tenacious advocate for our churches and charities in the US Senate. I am proud to have nominated Senator Lankford for the United Way Champion award, and I was thrilled to be able to present him with the award on Capitol Hill."

Senator Lankford continually advocates for charitable giving. Last year, Lankford was joined by his colleagues to introduce his Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act, which would expand and extend the non-itemizer deduction for charitable giving. Lankford’s bill is supported by numerous Oklahoma nonprofits and nonprofits from around the country. 

Lankford successfully pushed to ensure that taxpayers and nonprofits benefited from a $300 deduction ($600 for those filing jointly) for charitable giving on federal income taxes during the course of the pandemic. Lankford also wrote an opinion piece on the need to invest in our nation’s nonprofits as they helped meet the needs of countless Americans during the pandemic, and backed nonprofits on the Senate floor


About United Way:
United Way brings people together to build strong communities where everyone thrives. As one of the world's largest privately funded charities, we serve 95% of U.S. communities and 37 countries and territories; our humanitarian aid supports 48 million people every year. Through United Way, communities tackle tough challenges and work with private, public, and nonprofit partners to boost education, economic solutions, and health resources.  

United Way is the mission of choice for 1.5 million volunteers, 6.8 million donors, and 45,000 corporate partners in more than 1,100 communities worldwide in our second century of service. Together, we are building resilient, equitable communities across the globe. Learn more at Follow us: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited. 


Media Contact

Kandice Ferrell