The Big Lie – Did the Trump tax plan cause a big decline in charitable giving?

I generally stay away from partisan politics but this issue has been bothering me for awhile – and now look at the outrageous – flat out LIE – in a silly article on Newsweek.com (click here  or the picture to see it yourself).

The headline: Trump Tax Plan Leads to $54 Billion Decline in Charitable Giving

The article goes on to quote Giving USA, saying that there was “a 1.7 percent decline in overall giving to charity organizations last year and a 1.1 percent decline in dollars from individual Americans given, or a 3.4 percent decline when adjusted for inflation. This represents the first drop in individual giving since 2013. In 2017, giving increased by 5.7 percent.”

Ok – here is what Giving USA actually reported:

Total fundraising from all sources – 2017 was $435.11 billion, 2018 was $427.71 billion.  Do the math – Giving USA is saying the drop was $7.4 billion.  The article never explains where it gets its insane headline that the drop was $54 billion. THESE HAPPEN TO BE INFLATION ADJUSTED #s BY THE WAY.

So, if you look at the giving in NON-INFLATION ADJUSTED terms (i.e. regular dollars), you will find in Giving USA that 2018 had the highest giving total ever! 2017 came in at $424.74 billion and 2018 came in at $427.71 billion.  That is an increase of $2.97 billion in total giving from 2017 to 2018!  Not a decrease of $54 billion!

Anyway, I am close to finishing a new presentation looking at all of the fundraising numbers, and focusing on the impact of the increase in non-itemizers due to the 2018 tax plan.  So far, it certainly doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact if actual fundraising numbers increased in 2018!

 

2 comments

    1. Such a weird article. I already suspect that the atmosphere surrounding the tax plan (i.e. hysteria) may have contributed to a slight down year in individual giving. But, their claim in the headline isn’t discussed in the article. Not even sure where they got that number. Thanks for the comment Greg!

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