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A digital series for the social sector

At the Johnson Center, we understand philanthropy as an ecosystem — one filled with co-dependent actors and organizations whose work is fundamentally grounded in a love for humanity. Nonprofits and funders, individual donors and volunteers — we are one sector, with common interests and common challenges.

But it isn’t always easy to find common space to dive into the issues and ideas that affect us all in different ways. Field Focus is our answer to this challenge, to empower our networks by bringing practitioners, thought leaders, and issue experts together around one theme.

For each Field Focus campaign, we devote three months to engaging with particular topics and concepts that are important to philanthropy — all of philanthropy — right now.

Field Focus: Tax Policy

We’ve gathered resources from our own experts and thought leaders, as well as leading philanthropic organizations from across the nation that will help you and your organization understand how the changes to federal tax policy are affecting our sector.

2017–2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

In December 2017, the Johnson Center hosted a webinar titled, “How the Tax Overhaul Could Impact Our Sector.” Our executive director, Kyle Caldwell, hosted the conversation with the CEOs of the National Council of Nonprofits, the Michigan Nonprofit Association, and the Council of Michigan Foundations.

View the webinar

National Council of Nonprofits:

Independent Sector:

Council on Foundations:

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Michigan League for Public Policy’s Tax Policy Issue Page

The George Washington Institute of Public Policy’s Counting for Dollars: 16 Largest Federal Assistance Programs (Michigan specific)

Analysis from The Chronicle of Philanthropy (Jan 2018)

“What’s in the Final Republican Tax Bill” – The New York Times (Jan 2018)

“How the new estate tax rules could reduce charitable giving by billions” – The Conversation (April 2018)


Resources on the Cost of Proposed Tax Overhaul

Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy:


Resources on the Charitable Deduction

Urban Institute’s The New Debate Over a Charitable Deduction for Nonitemizers

Charitable Giving Coalition:


Johnson Amendment
  • Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship, (updated 9/5/17) reflecting the signatures of nearly 200 Michigan charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, foundations, and other organizations. Nationally, more than 5,600 organizations from all 50 states signed the Community Letter.
  • GiveVoice.org: Website dedicated to preserving nonprofit nonpartisanship and the Johnson Amendment

2014 Michigan Tax Credit Repeal: