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 changes to federal tax policy are affecting our sector.
Resources on the Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
- For Nonprofits, the Tax Landscape is Far From Settled
11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2019
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) included a number of provisions that affect the way nonprofits identify and calculate their tax liabilities. Many nonprofits are still working to understand, explain, and account for these changes ahead of the 2018 filing deadline. However, the TCJA’s true impact — and even whether the tax code will continue in its current form through 2019 — remains to be seen.
- Resources on How the New Federal Tax Law Impacts Nonprofits
National Council of Nonprofits
The National Council of Nonprofits offers this homepage for resources, analysis, and recommendations from sector-wide organizations on the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The page is updated as additional information becomes available.
- Giving Up Slightly in 2018, But Only Due to Larger Gifts
Fundraising Effectiveness Project
The Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Fundraising Effectiveness Project conducted extensive analysis of giving in 2018 and discovered that overall giving has gone up 1.6%, while the number of givers has dropped 4.5%. For further breakdowns and insights into this data, click the link above.
- Research on UBIT Provisions in 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Independent Sector partnered with researchers at the Urban Institute and the George Washington University to quantify the impact of two new provisions of the federal tax code: nonprofit organizations are now required to pay a 21% tax on their employee parking and transportation benefits, and to report unrelated income streams separately.
Webinar: 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.
National Council of Nonprofits:
- Tax Reform Issue Page
- Nonprofit Analysis of the Final Tax Bill (what are the changes and how are they likely to affect nonprofits?)
- Webinar: “Lunch with Legal Counsel: DAF Regulations and Tax Reform” (recorded 1/17/18, members only)
- Webinar: “Now What: How the New Federal Tax Law Impacts Charitable Nonprofits” (recorded 1/11/18)
- Comparison of House and Senate Tax Bills and Impacts on Nonprofits
- Tax Reform Issue Page
- Conference Committee Dashboard
- 2017 Tax Reform Conference Committee Issue Summary
- House Bill Talking Points
- Senate Bill Talking Points
Council on Foundations:
- Tax Reform Issue Page
- Implications for Philanthropy of House vs. Senate Tax Bills
- Summary and Analysis: Tax Cuts And Jobs Act (H.R. 1)
- Summary and Analysis: Tax Cuts And Jobs Act (S. 1)
Resources on the Cost of Proposed Tax Overhaul
Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy:
- Tax policy proposals would reduce charitable giving, new study finds
- Tax Policy and Charitable Giving Results (full study)
Resources on the Charitable Deduction
Charitable Giving Coalition:
- 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
- Johnson Center Blog Post: “How Repealing the Johnson Amendment Could Change the Game for Nonprofits” (Jan 2018) co-authored by Kyle Caldwell and Matthew Downey
- Johnson Center Blog Post: “Why Should We Care about Tax Policy” (June 2016) co-authored by Rob Collier, Donna Murray-Brown, and Kyle Caldwell