We hope corporations will take some of the money they're getting from changes in federal tax laws and fill a potential loss in charitable giving by individuals.
Under the change, it requires a significantly higher total of itemized deductions to earn a break on federal income tax. Taxpayers who donate cash or qualified materials have been rewarded, if you will, for their generosity. Of course, the new tax code does just about double the standard deduction, which is likely to push many taxpayers away from itemized deductions.
In December, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh Foundation forecast that the new tax law could cause a 5 percent drop in donations.
That would amount to about $60 million in the region, where in 2015 there was about $1.2 billion donated.
The head of the region's United Way says, four months in, it's too early to gauge the effect.
The New Kensington-based Habitat for Humanity Allegheny Valley says there's been a small decline in donations.
But its leader is hoping that what the nonprofit loses from individuals will be picked up by corporations now that the corporate income tax has been slashed.
We do, too.
An expert at Robert Morris University on nonprofit organizations says the tax law change will potentially have an effect on the wealthy, but Professor Peggy Outon says most donations come from people who don't itemize.
"All of the rest of us tend to support nonprofits because of their cause, not because of the tax law."
— The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review