As part of its year-end spending package in December 2019, Congress repealed the controversial tax on not-for-profits established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The TCJA provision, which took effect January 1, 2018, made an organization's expenses associated with "qualified transportation fringes," such as certain parking arrangements, van pools and transit passes, subject to the unrelated business income tax (UBIT) rate of 21%. Many not-for-profit organizations have struggled with the increased administrative cost and compliance burden.

The repeal is retroactive for taxes paid after December 31, 2017. As of this writing, further details of the repeal had not yet been released, but not-for-profits that paid the tax in 2018 or 2019 will receive refunds.

GoFundMe launches new services

GoFundMe, the for-profit crowdfunding platform, has unveiled a new fundraising service for not-for-profit organizations of all sizes, called GoFundMe Charity. Under one pricing plan, organizations pay no platform fee, with an option for donors to leave a voluntary "tip" for GoFundMe's services. Alternatively, you can choose a three percent platform fee where donors are given the option to cover the fee on their donations. Processing fees apply to both options.

Not-for-profits also receive data to help them track and measure success through GoFundMe's Report Center. The platform uploads data directly into common customer relationship management and marketing programs, such as Constant Contact and Mailchimp.

Why has charitable behavior dropped among young adults?

Although young adults show greater interest in community engagement, researchers at the University of Maryland's Do Good Institute have found a steady decline in their charitable behaviors. Volunteer rates among young adult college grads fell from a high of 38% in 2003 to 31.2% in 2015. And giving dropped from a high of 59.8% in 2011 to 55.7% in 2015.

The researchers suggest that milestones traditionally marking the transition to adulthood, such as marriage, birth and homeownership rates, may impact the volunteering and giving rates of young adults. Attaining these milestones more slowly can impact young adults' ability to develop the strong community ties needed to become actively engaged civic contributors.

Donor-Advised Funds donors get more impact-investing options

National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), one of the nation's largest donor-advised fund (DAF) sponsors, recently announced several new impact-investment portfolios that will allow donors to achieve both social and financial returns on their DAF investments. According to NPT, the portfolios address many of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Donors can allocate their DAFs among portfolios focused on economic mobility, environmental stewardship, the advancement of women, conservation and health care access. Each portfolio can easily be converted to cash to fund donor grants.

Originally published by Ostrow, April 2020

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