Dec 13

Written by: Casey S. Hale
12/13/2012 10:51 AM  RssIcon

The Washington Post published a story today covering the Obama Administration's struggle to convince the nonprofit sector to accept the administration's proposed curtailment of the charitable deduction. Needless to say, the White House is feeling significant push back from the nonprofit sector. Here's some of the key excerpts:

The White House and the nation’s most prominent charities are embroiled in a tense, behind-the-scenes debate over President Obama’s push to scale back the nearly century-old tax deduction on donations that the charities say is crucial for their financial health.

“It’s all castor oil,” said Diana Aviv, president of Independent Sector, an umbrella group representing many nonprofits. “And the members of the nonprofit sector I represent don’t want any part of it. It’s a medicine we’re not willing to drink.”

“It would be devastating,’’ said Jatrice Martel Gaiter, executive vice president for external affairs at Volunteers of America . . . . Of course people want to say they are giving out of the goodness of their hearts, and of course they are, but the tax deduction makes our heart larger and our goodness even better.

The frustration stems in part from what some nonprofit leaders describe as a philosophical disagreement between Obama and the non-profit sector. The president has framed the tax deduction as a benefit for the wealthy, they say, while in their view the deduction is a benefit for charities that use the money to help the needy.

Stacey Stewart, president of the United Way, cited a “disconnect” between the White House and charities. Stewart said she and others listened to the White House argument but were not willing to waver in their opposition to an “assault” on the charitable deduction.