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November 29, 2012

Nonprofit Organizations Fearful of 'Fiscal Cliff'

Charities are mobilizing in Washington as the looming "fiscal cliff" makes politicians on both sides of the aisle more open to limiting tax breaks for wealthy donors, Time writes. The newly formed Charitable Giving Coalition, which includes several of the country's biggest nonprofit groups, has planned a "Protect Giving-D.C. Days" lobbying push on December 4 and 5.

The coalition contends President Obama's proposed cut in the charitable deduction for families making $250,000 or more a year would cut annual giving by $5.6-billion. Charities also oppose competing proposals that would cap overall itemized deductions and let taxpayers choose which breaks to take. Some such plans would "virtually eliminat[e] the charitable deduction for a certain class of people," said Steve Taylor, vice president for public policy at the United Way.

Third Way, a Democratic advocacy group, said its proposal for $35,000 cap on itemized deductions that would exclude the charitable tax break has been well-received on Capitol Hill.

See more on the fiscal cliff and the charitable-deduction debate in a Chronicle of Philanthropy special section.