CEO of Denver Jewish federation weighs in on Obama’s charitable tax plan


The Denver Post spoke with several nonprofit officials in Colorado, including the CEO of the Allied Jewish Federation in Denver, Doug Sesserman, about President Obama’s plan to reduce the tax incentive that those making over $250,000 per year get for making charitable donations.

The President’s plan, which would lower the tax deduction from around 33 percent to 27 percent could cost charities up to $9 billion per year.

"Every day I’m in conversations with people who’ve had their portfolio decimated by the economic downturn," said Doug Seserman, president and CEO of the Allied Jewish Federation in Denver. "That last thing we want is to give people excuses to not be giving."

High-income donors account for about 80 percent of the donations the federation gets. It serves as an umbrella fundraising group for other nonprofits and is lobbying for the proposal’s removal from the budget.

The story also had some interesting facts about charitable giving in the Mile High city:

• About four out of 10 nonprofits said they fell short or significantly short of their fundraising goals last year.
• More than half of nonprofits have had a major donor cut back or eliminate giving because of the downturn.
• About 27.4 percent of respondents said they cut nonessential expenses, 23 percent were tapping reserves and 14 percent cut staff pay or hours to manage the shortfall.
• About 48 percent of human-service organizations reported not being able to keep up with the needs of clients.
• About 60 percent of nonprofits considered themselves currently healthy but vulnerable in the future.

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