The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world dramatically since this time last year, but the needs of our communities are still there. In fact, those needs have never been greater. The uncertainties about our health and the economy have also taken heavy tolls on local support for nonprofit organizations like The Immunization Partnership that rely greatly on contributions from our philanthropic partners to keep our families, friends and communities healthy and safe — today and for generations to come.

Giving Tuesday is one way all of us can help one another transform our communities and the world. The philanthropic community contributed nearly $2 billion in the United States through online and offline donations during Giving Tuesday 2019. This year, the pandemic reduces the opportunities for traditional in-person fundraising activities, which only increases the importance of online giving.

Recent changes in tax laws also affected charitable giving. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 nearly doubled the standard tax deduction, which meant taxpayers taking this deduction couldn’t reduce their taxable income by the amount of their charitable contributions. This affected more than 95 percent of taxpayers by eliminating the advantage of this important benefit for nonprofit organizations like The Immunization Partnership.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 made a beneficial, albeit temporary, change for taxpayers and nonprofits for this year. The coronavirus relief bill gives all taxpayers an additional deduction on their charitable gifts up to $300 or $600 for married filers on donations made before Dec. 31. This affects more than 90 percent of U.S. taxpayers.

Donors who itemize and write off their charitable gifts may deduct 100 percent of their adjusted gross income for donations to qualifying nonprofit organizations. Corporations may deduct charitable gifts up to 25 percent of their taxable income this year. As always, visit with your accountant or tax adviser regarding your personal situation. Also ask if your employer has a matching program for charitable gifts. This is a great way to leverage your generosity.

If there’s one simple reason why individuals don’t make charitable gifts, it’s because no one asks them — at least not directly. But that will not be a reason this year. On behalf of The Immunization Partnership and all community nonprofit organizations, I ask you today to participate in Giving Tuesday, which is today, or at any time before the end of the year.

Now, more than ever, we need the dedication and commitment, the leadership and philanthropy of our caring and essential community partners. We don’t know how long the present health and economic uncertainties will continue. We do know with certainty, however, that they will continue to exert adverse effects on our communities and on the nonprofit organizations committed to provide the services and support our most vulnerable populations so rightly expect and deserve.

Allison N. Winnike, Juris Doctor, is president and CEO of The Immunization Partnership, a statewide nonprofit organization that aims to eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases by educating the community, advocating for evidence-based public policy, and supporting immunization best practices.

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Bailey Jones

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