About CASE

Pam Russell
Senior Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
May 22, 2017

CASE Announces Support for a Universal Charitable Deduction

Statement by CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham

WASHINGTON, DC — For the past 100 years, U.S. tax policy, through the charitable tax deduction, has encouraged individuals to make philanthropic gifts to colleges, universities and independent schools. These charitable donations, which support student scholarships, faculty positions, research, facilities and other academic programs and initiatives, help educational institutions provide transformational learning opportunities.

Currently, though, the charitable deduction is only available to the roughly 30 percent of U.S. taxpayers who itemize their tax returns. If lawmakers enact the tax proposals being discussed on Capitol Hill—all of which include a significant increase in the standard deduction threshold—only 5 percent of U.S. taxpayers would be able to deduct their charitable gifts. The result would be a significant decline in charitable giving to educational institutions and other charitable organizations, according to a new study commissioned by Independent Sector.

CASE supports a universal charitable deduction, which would provide a charitable giving incentive to everyone by allowing taxpayers to subtract charitable gifts from their income before they determine whether to take the standard deduction or itemize their tax returns. The Independent Sector study, conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, found that the inclusion of the universal charitable deduction in tax reform would result in a $4.8 billion increase in charitable giving.

Imagine the positive impact that such an increase in charitable giving would have on our lives and our communities.

This also is a topic on which the vast majority of voters—regardless of political affiliation—agree. Three-quarters of voters want to expand the charitable deduction so that taxpayers can take advantage of the deduction regardless of income and whether or not they itemize their taxes, according to a recent Independent Sector poll.

CASE strongly believes that U.S. tax policy should encourage everyone, regardless of their income, to make philanthropic gifts to colleges, universities, independent schools and other charities. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the charitable deduction, we urge President Trump and Congress to expand this important giving incentive to everyone by enacting a universal charitable deduction.

About CASE

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.

CASE was founded in 1974 and maintains headquarters in Washington, D.C., with offices in London (CASE Europe, 1994), Singapore (CASE Asia-Pacific, 2007) and Mexico City (CASE América Latina, 2011).

Today, CASE's membership includes nearly 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and non-profit organizations in more than 80 countries around the globe. This makes CASE one of the world's largest non-profit educational associations in terms of institutional membership. CASE serves more than 85,000 practitioners.

To fulfill their missions and to meet both individual and societal needs, colleges, universities and independent schools rely on—and therefore must foster—the good will, active involvement, informed advocacy and enduring support of alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, government officials, community leaders, corporate executives, foundation officers and other external constituencies.

CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with all of these constituencies by providing relevant research, supporting growth in the profession and fostering support of education. CASE also offers a variety of advancement products and services, provides standards and an ethical framework for the profession and works with other organizations to respond to public issues of concern while promoting the importance of education worldwide.