Sector bodies across Europe are lobbying national governments to introduce or extend tax incentives to inspire philanthropy. Proposals underline the vital role of nonprofits during Covid-19 and the increasingly urgent income shortfalls they currently face.
Emergency tax incentives sought to boost philanthropy in France
France générosités is calling on the French government to introduce new emergency tax incentives that will boost philanthropy.
France generosités has proposed three new measures. These include making all charitable donations from taxpayers tax deductible during 2020 (up to 75% of the value of the gift), creating an exceptional tax credit for non-taxable donors (again, equivalent to up to 75% of the amount donated) and offering employees a day’s leave to volunteer. The proposal gives employees the flexibility to donate their volunteering day to another employee for that purpose.
Nolwenn Poupon, head of studies and communication at France générosités, says:
“Every year, 40% of donations arrive during the last three months. This final quarter is crucial for charities. So, we’re calling on government to step in and take action as soon as possible, ensuring that we have the best possible framework to encourage generosity and mobilise donors in the build-up to this critical period for donations.”
Proposal to increase UK Gift Aid
A coalition of leading sector voices in the UK has called for a two-year increase to the level of Gift Aid that charities can claim on donations.
If the proposal is accepted, this would mean that a €100 donation from a UK taxpayer could be worth €133.33 (rather than €125, as is the case currently). The coalition estimates that this move could help charities access almost an additional €500 million.
Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, said:
“Government support through Gift Aid is proven to be a significant nudge which increases people’s likelihood to give, and encourages people to give more. This package would be an incredibly clever way for the government to support charities and the services they provide, at the time when they most need it.”
Sir John Low, chief executive at Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), adds:
“This is a straight-forward, quick and tangible way to help charities at this most challenging time in their history. It is an emergency response in a time of crisis for the very charities providing vital services in the UK and around the world.”
Swedish government asked to match donations
The sector bodies underline the opportunity, through a matching scheme, for the state to directly support civil society while stimulating increased donations from the public. The two-part proposal also emphasises the opportunity for civil society organisations to play a role in restarting the labour market by offering places for internships, job training and, with support, employment too.
Charlotte Rydh, secretary general of Giva Sverige, says:
“Our proposal shows two very different ways that civil society organisations can contribute by supporting individuals that are hit by the corona-pandemic and also motivate engagement through giving which will strengthen democracy.”
These announcements from France, the UK and Sweden follows recent calls for similar incentive schemes from Finland to Italy, the Netherlands and beyond.
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