by Joseph Coletti
Senior Fellow, Fiscal Studies, John Locke Foundation
Despite dire predictions of steep drops in charitable giving because of federal tax reform, the left-of-center Inside Philanthropy found giving flat or higher in an informal survey of United Ways and other nonprofits. Fewer people may take a tax deduction for their contributions to churches and charitable causes, but that does not seem to have affected their actual giving.
Charitable giving has remained robust through major tax changes in the past, including the 1980s-era cut in the top rate from 70% to 28%, so the strength of donations in 2018 should not be surprising. People give because their giving has an impact not simply to save on taxes.