The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and stock market trends lend to some murkiness when it comes to the outlook on philanthropy, according to the IU Lilly School of Philanthropy. The report details likely effects of tax policy changes and economic conditions on philanthropic giving.
“We anticipate that 2018 will be an unusual year for philanthropy, with several competing forces simultaneously shaping the giving environment,” said Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school. “To gain insights into the dynamic factors that will influence charitable giving in 2018 and 2019, donors and nonprofits must consider both the economic climate and the complex ways in which donors may respond to recent tax policy changes.”
Scenarios for "high growth, "uneven growth" and "flat growth" are included in the report, which covers 2018 and 2019. Under the "high growth" scenario, the tax cuts would add to the momentum of the economy at the end of 2017. The report indicates the loss of tax incentives would dampen philanthropy in some households, but that the well-performing economy would offset, allowing giving to continue.
The "uneven growth" scenario would mostly help wealthy business owners and corporations, with little trickle-down effects and widely-varied results. Tax policy changes in the "flat growth" scenario would not likely impact economic growth, and donors may adapt to the new policies that may prevent the economy from utilizing the full benefits of the new tax laws.
You can view the entire report, presented by Marts & Lundy, by clicking here.