Local non-profits fear fewer donations after fiscal cliff

Non-profits fear fewer donations over fiscal cliff

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Center for Women helps thousands of lowcountry women each year, providing them with programs to keep them economically independent. But now, it's the non-profit itself that is keeping a close eye on its budget.

"I see particularly among my non-profit colleagues, we're all sort of crossing our fingers and hoping for the best," Executive Director Jennet Robinson Alterman says.

A part of the fiscal cliff negotiations includes placing limits on charitable tax deductions.

Robinson Alterman says 20 percent of the organization's budget comes from donations.

"If we were to lose the level of donation, it would be extremely difficult for us to continue operations," she says.

The Coastal Community Foundation gives 12 million dollars worth of grants each year to more than 700 non-profits in the area. CEO George Stevens says the worst case scenario would be a complete elimination of a charitable tax deduction.

"It's estimated that would reduce charitable giving by about three percent -- that's not very much, but there are three billion dollars in charitable gifts each year," he says. "So it's actually a lot of money -- even three percent."

One possible silver lining of the fiscal cliff is that many people are making charitable donations now, before the upcoming January 1st deadline.

"If tax rates do go up, there's an advantage to giving now before the tax rates change so the uncertainty is driving quite a bit of activity," Stevens says.

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