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

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.