AGRM Rallies U.S. Senators to Support Charitable Deduction


AGRM members and Faith & Giving Coalition partners urge support 

One-third of the U.S. Senate—17 Democrats and 16 Republicans—signed a letter on January 23 by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John Thune (R-SD) asking the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy in the Senate, to preserve the “full value and scope” of the charitable deduction during comprehensive tax reform.

AGRM President John Ashmen and a group of religious nonprofit executives met with Senators Wyden and Thune, both members of the Finance Committee, in July 2013 to encourage them to draft a letter supporting the charitable deduction. Both senators agreed to work together and a joint letter was produced in November 2013. AGRM members responded by contacting their senators and asking them to sign the Wyden-Thune letter. AGRM also rallied our Faith & Giving Coalition partners to do the same.

After the final letter with 33 signatures was sent to every senators’ office, a member of Senator Thune's staff commented, "AGRM's behind-the-scenes work to rally support for the letter helped us produce an important, bipartisan statement for preserving a strong charitable deduction."

Thirty-three senators publicly supporting a strong charitable deduction is a powerful statement following a year in which the tax-writing committees on Capitol Hill made noticeable progress toward passing comprehensive tax reform. The letter is also important because Senator Wyden is expected to replace Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)—who was nominated in December 2013 as U.S. Ambassador to China—as the Finance Committee’s next chairman.

AGRM will continue to champion strong private giving in Washington, DC, and your involvement is vital. Your elected officials need to hear how important private giving is to the success of your work. They need to hear how donations help change peoples’ lives every day! Please join us on Capitol Hill on March 3–5 for the fourth annual DC Forum to thank U.S. senators for signing the Wyden-Thune letter and to push for strong charitable tax incentives.