Light of Dawnn Awards with Governor Charlie Baker Shine Light on Community Heroes in Memory of Youth Worker

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Nonprofit leaders, government officials, and community members came together at the West End House Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday for the sixth annual Light of Dawnn Awards Ceremony to honor the life of Dawnn Ashley Jaffier. Three front-line nonprofit professionals and three high school seniors who embody Dawnn’s legacy were recognized for their service to their communities.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker delivered remarks at the ceremony.

“Our administration is grateful for the West End Boys and Girls Club’s dedication to the continued celebration of Dawnn’s life and service,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Congratulations to this year’s award and scholarship recipients, each of whom exemplify Dawnn’s compassion, leadership, and kindness.”

The Light of Dawnn Awards were created to honor the memory of Dawnn Jaffier, who was killed on August 23, 2014, while on her way to a neighborhood celebration. At 26 years old, Dawnn had made a significant impact in her community through her work at nonprofits, including the West End House, Playworks, City Year, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston.

After Dawnn’s death, her family, friends, and colleagues came together to create the Light of Dawnn Awards to honor Dawnn’s legacy of compassion and service. The Awards aim to raise the public profiles of nonprofit workers doing important direct-service work, particularly those who do not have prominent or externally-facing roles.

Every year, three direct-service nonprofit professionals are selected to receive a Light of Dawnn Award and a $5,000 cash prize. The Awards are presented by the Highland Street Foundation and the Kraft family and managed by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.

This year’s awardees are Shantell Jeter, Physical Education Teacher at Boston Green Academy; Aspen Eberhardt, Operations Director at Greater Boston PFLAG; and Isabel Villela, Case Manager at La Alianza Hispana.

“It is an honor to recognize Shantell, Aspen, and Isabel for their outstanding contributions to our community,” said Blake Jordan, Executive Director of the Highland Street Foundation. “Just like Dawnn, these individuals quietly go about their work every day driven by a desire to make a difference in someone’s life.”

“We are pleased to celebrate Dawnn’s spirit and legacy by honoring this year’s outstanding Light of Dawnn Award recipients,” said Jim Ayres, chair of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s board of directors. “Shantell, Aspen, and Isabel are outstanding examples of the hundreds of thousands of nonprofit professionals across Massachusetts that work to make our communities stronger.”

In addition, three high school seniors were awarded the Light of Dawnn Scholarships for their community work. Now in their fifth year, the scholarships were created by John Hancock, where Dawnn’s mother is a longtime employee, and the Foundation To Be Named Later. Scholarships of $5,000 are given to each recipient for higher education.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Aleena Mangham and Lesley Carranza of the West End House Boys and Girls Club and Erika Yamilet Garcia of Beacon Academy.

“We are honored to once again join Dawnn’s family, and our community partners, to pay tribute to her extraordinary life and legacy,” said Tom Crohan, VP & Counsel, Corporate Responsibility and Government Relations, John Hancock. “Aleena, Lesley, and Erika exemplify Dawnn’s commitment to community service, and we hope their awards make the decision to attend college a little easier.”

Why Inclusive Nonprofits Should Consider a “Culture Add” Over a “Culture Fit”

By YW Boston

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When nonprofits interview a potential employee, they are not just looking at their skills and past experiences. Often, teams look for a sense of how an interviewee would work with existing staff and whether they hold the values of the organization. This evaluation is often branded as a search for a “culture fit” – as in, “Does this person fit into the existing culture of our organization?”

Forbes recommends looking for “culture fit” candidates because, as they explain, “we can always provide the resources and tools to help employees get better at their jobs, but we can’t teach someone to align with our cultural values.” Each organization has their own language, processes, and customs. Many people believe that a new employee who is a “fit” will be easily onboarded into this culture, leading to increased employee satisfaction and reduced employee turnover.

“Culture Fit” is flawed

A number of sources that speak of “culture fit,” such as Forbes and Business News Daily, recognize that the concept can be harmful if employed incorrectly. As Forbes explains, “What it doesn’t mean is overlooking different cultures and lifestyles, or dismissing personal values you don’t agree with.” However, when a hiring team becomes very focused on cultural fit, they will be more likely to hire those who are familiar to them. Even if unconsciously, hiring teams make judgements based on who they believe would be the easiest to train or get to know, often choosing those similar to them.

“Culture Fit” may be hurting your organization

With each individual hire, these trends may not be obvious, but they build over time. This leads to a lack of diversity within an organization, which can stifle its success. As McKinsey & Company reported in Diversity Matters, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to outperform those in the bottom quartile. Those in the top quartile for racial diversity are 33% more likely to outperform. Their research demonstrates that hiring bias’s effect on office diversity has large ramifications. A homogenous workplace culture (whether it be homogenous on racial, gender, or experience) can lead to groupthink and the team may have a more difficult time finding solutions.

Instead, focus on “Culture Add”

All of this is not to say that hiring committees should get rid of any attempts to examine how a candidate may work with the organization’s culture. Rather than “culture fit,” consider seeking someone who would be a “culture add” to the workplace. As Beamery explains it, “culture add” requires asking: “What can a candidate bring to the table that will add to your culture and help move it in the right direction?” Focusing on hiring a “culture add” reorients the task by asking your hiring team to perform pre-work that will set you up for success. Before hiring a new candidate, the team should examine: What perspectives are we missing from our work? Where are we looking to grow as an organization? Then, after accepting that employees can and should help your nonprofit’s culture evolve, there must be processes in place to allow this to happen. This means fostering an inclusive workplace where employees are recognized for the unique perspectives and skills they bring to the work.

About YW Boston

As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. Through our DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and youth programming, we help individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.

Nonprofit 411: 15 Governance Best Practices for Nonprofit Boards

By Greg Rogers, Senior Audit Manager at Kevin P. Martin & Associates, P.C.

Individuals choose to get involved with nonprofit boards for a variety of reasons such as a passion for a charity’s mission, a desire to give back, a commitment to enhance one’s experience, or a pursuit of new business opportunities. Whatever the reason, those individuals frequently do not fully understand their fiduciary responsibilities when they volunteer to serve on a nonprofit board.

Nonprofit board members play a vital role in the philanthropic landscape of society – they are tasked with a duty of care and a duty of loyalty as stewards of funds raised for public benefit. Boards must exercise prudent decision-making and do what is best for the organization to preserve the integrity of the nonprofit. To this end, every nonprofit board should consider these 15 governance best practices:

  1. Boards should meet at least three times per year with no more than one of those meetings held via conference call (if board members’ locations allow).
  2. Every board should have a minimum of five voting members. Ideally, no more than one voting board member should be compensated.
  3. Term limits should be set to promote board member engagement and board effectiveness.
  4. All boards should establish a nominating committee charged with recruiting directors that are diverse and passionately committed to serving the charity’s mission.
  5. Boards should establish an audit committee tasked with hiring a CPA firm and communicating with its CPA firm on an ongoing basis to ensure all financial reporting matters warranting concern are address in a timely manner.
  6. Boards should regularly evaluate the performance of the executive director and set his/her compensation annually through an objective analysis.
  7. Board members should attend board meetings and meetings of subcommittees they sit on to ensure they can make informed decisions about all matters requiring board votes.
  8. All board members should disclose conflicts of interest at least annually. Boards should verify that conflicts of interest between the charity and a board member or a member of management are not material.
  9. Boards should ensure an orientation process is in place for new directors.
  10. Board members should work with management to ensure adequate internal controls over financial reporting are in place, including a segregation of duties to promote accurate financial reporting and mitigate fraud risk.
  11. Nonprofit boards should approve the organization’s budget prior to the beginning of the fiscal year and continuously monitor budget versus actual results throughout the year.
  12. Nonprofit boards should approve the annual audit, including the financial statements and any other reports discussing internal control matters or comments for management consideration.
  13. Nonprofit boards should ensure the IRS Form 990 is reviewed and approved by the full board.
  14. Nonprofit boards should ensure all governance policies recommended by the IRS are formally adopted by the board.
  15. Boards should take measures to minimize the personal liability of directors in the event of organizational insolvency.

Member Spotlight: Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership

Latoya in her new home. (cred: Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership)

“I’m so in love with my house.”

When Latoya’s friend Tara told her that she had an extra seat in Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership‘s Home Buyers Class, she decided to come along even though, at the time, she wasn’t thinking much about buying a home. Tara was ahead of her in the home buying process and when she saw the success she was having after taking the class, Latoya felt inspired to do it herself.

Latoya decided she was tired of renting and ready to buy a home herself. She took the classes very seriously. Being the first person in her immediate family to buy a home was a big deal and something she wanted to do for herself and her children. When looking back, she says “Everything I learned was crucial. I’ve been a student for a long time and I’ve never learned as much in one class as I did taking this course.” She benefited most from the real-life examples the class provided and meeting the real estate professionals face to face.

After the class, she felt confident to start the process. She scheduled a readiness assessment with counselor Ed Alcantara. Latoya appreciated that he “went above and beyond to help create a plan for [her].”

Latoya looked at 30 houses and made three offers before she found her dream home, and she wouldn’t have done anything differently. After taking the course, she said, “I don’t think I could have made such a smart decision without the confidence I gained from MVHP’s staff and class.”

At the closing meeting, Latoya was so excited to start life in her new home, she ran out before she even finished signing. As soon as the keys touched her hand, she was ready to start the next chapter in her life.

***

Nonprofit members can click here to submit a Member Spotlight and share a story that best illustrates the positive impact their organization has in their community

Nonprofit 411: What Does Growth Mean for Your Nonprofit Organization?

Nonprofit 411 Pear Associates (1)-minBy Alison Glastein Gray, Founder and President, Pear Associates

In my role as a consultant, I work with many organizations as they consider growing…but growing can mean different things to different organizations.

Growth may mean serving new markets –geographies and populations — with the same program or service you currently offer. Growth may mean bringing a new program to your current client base or community. Or growth may mean increasing your market share by bringing your proven model to more people or more communities. And for some, growth may involve all of the above.

No matter how your organization may be thinking about growth, there are several factors to consider.

First, consider why growth is significant for your constituents and clients. Are there service gaps that you can fill for them? Could you serve more clients with more staff or additional locations?

Next, think about why growth is essential for your employees. Are you providing a workplace with new and exciting challenges? Is there a career path that will keep your employees engaged and retained?

Also, take into account why growth is vital for the communities and neighborhoods where you are based. Could you bring new resources into your communities with growth? Are there populations within your communities who could benefit from additional programs?

Finally, reflect on what you risk by not growing. Will your clients miss out or go elsewhere? Will you lose employees? Will you be left behind as your competition grows?

Once your organization has determined that growth is necessary, I recommend the following action steps:

  1. Do your homework

You can learn more about your marketplace and competition by conducting an environmental scan of other nonprofit organizations in your area, and also by reviewing publicly available data to determine current needs and trends. You can also understand your constituency by conducting surveys or focus groups and by relying on anecdotal feedback to enhance any quantitative data you have obtained. Finally, consider the political and economic landscape that you are functioning in to determine how this may impact your growth.

  1. Cultivate Partnerships

Partnerships can help your organization to expand your reach, leverage resources, and obtain new clients and constituents. Partners may be community-based organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, or schools. As a first step, you may want to establish an informal partnership through networking and sharing of information. Once trust is built and you determine areas of alignment, you can develop formal [partnerships through data-sharing agreements and memoranda of understanding.

  1. Engaging in a Business Planning Process

You will want to create a roadmap as you embark on growth. Think about your short-term, action-focused goals. What will it cost to set up if a program? What will it cost to operate the program? What resources (staff, capital, knowledge) will you need to make this happen?

  1. Develop a Marketing Strategy

Once you expand your current model, you will want to inform your audience. Think about your crucial organization and program-specific messages you wish to promote. Consider the channels you will use to promote your growth, such as social media, paid advertising, or leveraging your thought leadership. You may need to brand your new services or make sure they align with your current branding to ensure consistency.

No matter how you embark on growth, consider this exploration as an opportunity to be thoughtful and aspirational. You will be fruitful if you know WHY you are expanding and HOW you will expand.

Nonprofit 411: Donor Acknowledgements: We Have to File What?

Nonprofit 411 BerryDunn (1)-minby Melissa Magoon, BerryDunn

Perhaps not surprisingly, the month of December is by far the most charitable month of the year, accounting for almost one-third of all charitable gifts made annually. And with all that giving comes the requirement of charitable organizations to provide donor acknowledgements, a formal “thank you” of the gift being received. Different gifts require differing levels of acknowledgement, and in some cases an additional IRS form (or two) may need to be filed. Doing some work now may save you time (and a fine or two) later.

Read below for BerryDunn’s list of donor acknowledgement requirements―and best practices―to help you gain control of this issue for the holiday season and beyond.

Donor acknowledgement letters

Charitable (i.e., 501(c)(3)) organizations are required to provide a donor acknowledgement letter to each donor contributing $250 or more to the organization, whether it be cash or non-cash items (i.e., publicly traded securities, real estate, artwork, vehicles, etc.) received. The letter should include the following:

  1. Name of the organization
  2. Amount of cash contribution
  3. Description of non-cash items (but not the value)
  4. Statement that no goods and services were provided (assuming this is the case)
  5. Description and good faith estimate of the value of goods and services provided by the organization in return for the contribution, if any
  6. Statement that goods or services provided by the organization in return for the contribution consisted entirely of intangible religious benefit, if any

It is not necessary to include either the donor’s social security number or tax identification number on the written acknowledgment and as a best practice should not be included in the letter.

In addition to including the elements above, the written acknowledgement is also required to be contemporaneous, that is, sent out in a timely fashion. According to the IRS, a donor must receive the acknowledgment by the earlier of:

  1. The date on which the donor actually files his or her individual federal income tax return for the year of the contribution
  2. The due date (including extensions) of the return in order to be considered contemporaneous

Quid pro quo disclosure statements

When a donor makes a payment greater than $75 to a charitable organization partly as a contribution and partly as a payment for goods and services, a disclosure statement is required to notify the donor of the value of the goods and services received in order for the donor to determine the charitable contribution component of their payment.

An example of this would be if the organization sold tickets to its annual fundraising dinner event. Assume the ticket costs $100 and at the event the ticketholder receives a dinner valued at $40. In this example, the donor’s tax deduction may not exceed $60. Because the donor’s payment (quid pro quo contribution) exceeds $75, the charitable organization must furnish a disclosure statement to the donor, even though the deductible amount doesn’t exceed $75.

It’s important to note that there are some exclusions to these requirements if the value received is considered to be de minimis (known as the Token Exception), but the value received needs to be relatively small (ex: receiving a coffee mug with a picture of the organization’s logo on it). Please consult your tax advisor for more details.

If the organization does not issue disclosure statements, the IRS can issue penalties of $10 per contribution, not to exceed $5,000 per fundraising event or mailing. An organization may be able to avoid the penalty if reasonable cause can be demonstrated.

Receiving or selling donated noncash property? Forms 8283 & 8282 may be required.

If a charitable organization receives noncash donations, it may be asked to sign Form 8283. This form is required to be filed by the donor and included with their personal income tax return. If a donor contributes noncash property (excluding publicly traded securities) valued at over $5,000, the organization will need to sign Form 8283, Section B, Part IV acknowledging receipt of the noncash item(s) received.

By signing Form 8283, the donee organization is not only acknowledging receipt, but is also affirming that if the property being received is sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of within three years of the original donation date, the organization will be required to file Form 8282. A copy of this form is filed with the IRS and must also be provided to the original donor. Form 8282 is not required for sales of donated publicly traded securities. The penalty for failure to file Form 8282 when required is generally $50 per form.

Cars, boats, and yes, even airplanes? That would be Form 1098-C.

An airplane? Yes, even an airplane can be donated, and the donee organization must file a separate Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes, with the IRS for each contribution of a qualified vehicle that has a claimed value of more than $500. Contemporaneous written acknowledgement requirements apply here too, and Form 1098-C can act as acknowledgement for this purpose. An acknowledgment is considered contemporaneous if it is furnished to the donor no later than 30 days after the date of the contribution if you plan to use the item for a mission-related purpose, or 30 days after the date of the sale of the item to an unrelated third party.

Penalties for failure to provide contemporaneous written acknowledgement for qualified vehicles can be pretty stiff, generally calculated as a percentage of the sale price if sold, or a percentage of the claimed value if not sold. Should you have any questions or receive a request regarding any of the forms noted above, please consult your tax advisor.

As you can see, the rules around donor acknowledgements can seem a lot like Grandma’s fruitcake―complex and perhaps a bit on the nutty side. When issuing donor acknowledgements this holiday season and beyond, be sure to review the list above and check it twice. Doing so may end up keeping you off of the IRS’s naughty list!

This article originally appeared on BerryDunn’s website here.

Nonprofit 411: Paid Family and Medical Leave is Coming to Massachusetts in 2021

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by Jeff Bastien, AVP, RogersGray Insurance

As part of the “Grand Bargain,” Massachusetts officially passed a Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML) program into legislation, with benefits scheduled to start on January 1, 2021.

The road to 2021 has come with challenges, as deductions that were originally scheduled to have started 7/1/19 were delayed to 10/1/19. The marketplace pushed back against legislators asking for more time to prepare for what was to come. That delay caused the rate increase from 0.63% of gross payroll up to 0.75%.

As withholdings started 10/1 for many employers, many went through the process of getting a Private Plan proposal and filing for an exemption, saving significant dollars versus paying on the state plan.

Two private options from the approved carriers have come out of this process:

  1. Custom PFML percentage based on a census of their employees today, with the understanding they will need to get a finalized quote before putting the plan into place in 2021. Some of these carriers require additional lines of coverage, and others will write the PFML stand alone. Here are some risks to understand:
  • While you can get a rate less than the state 0.75%, you could also end up with a rate higher
  • Your rates are not final rates and are subject to change if you have a big population change
  1. Carriers that matched the state rate of 0.75% if organizations either already have business with the carrier or commit to writing one or more other lines of business bundled with the PFML benefit. Here are some risks to understand:
  • You do not know if the 0.75% is high or low based on your population; you could be over-paying
  • If you move your other lines of coverage to a different carrier, you will lose the 0.75% guaranteed rate and if you are a less desirable risk, you could end up paying more

Even though the first exemption deadline passed (12/20/19), those who have not received an exemption will still have the option to file for a Private Plan exemption for the contributions prior to 2021.

There is still plenty to do for an organization in 2020 to help prepare you for 2021 when PFML starts. PFML is putting a spotlight on Human Resource departments as it is another regulation that could potentially be a target for discrimination lawsuits from employees.

Here are some of the items you can review to see if they need to be addressed prior to 2021:

  1. HR Audit including:
  • Best practices for handling employee issues
  • Employee Handbook
  • Job Descriptions
  • Disciplinary Policies
  • PTO and Leave Policy Reviews
  • Technology options with Leave Management via private carriers
  1. Benefit Updates:
  • Short-Term Disability – full update to lower/cancel coverage as PFML will end up taking over a large portion of STD benefits (including AFLAC/Colonial Benefits)
  • Long-Term Disability –waiting period needs to be updated as PFML benefits have a longer duration than the typical STD benefit that they will end up replacing

Adding these items to your HR agenda in 2020 will undoubtedly save time and energy (and potentially company dollars) when PFML starts in 2021 and employees begin requesting leave.

If there are any questions surrounding PFML or any of the items discussed in this article, please feel free to reach out to Jeff Bastien at 978-722-0206 or jbastien@rogersgray.com.

Our Shared Sector: Your Evaluations May Be Biased. Here’s What You Can Do About It.

by YW Boston

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Nonprofits are increasingly interested in measuring their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to determine whether these are actually effecting change. Whether you are evaluating efforts within your office or your community, evaluations are important tools for measuring progress. They are a valuable tool that will inform any adjustments, should you need to course correct. Yet bias often shows up in evaluations, just like it can show up elsewhere. This unaddressed bias can jeopardize the success of your DE&I efforts.

YW Boston has focused on developing evaluation tools that allow us to effectively measure individual and organizational readiness for D&I work, as well as tracking progress and areas of improvement. Here are some tips to help you identify and disrupt bias in your DE&I evaluations.

  1. Acknowledge that bias is always present and address it accordingly

The first steps towards addressing any challenge involves acknowledging the problem at hand and exploring possible root causes. People are biased, and as biased individuals, we can reproduce our biases in everything from self-assessment and decision making, to the tools and technology that we use. Prejudice and racism are institutionalized, so it is important to recognize that bias will be present within data—such as demographic data—and processes, regardless of where and how data was collected. Try pushing beyond quantitative data as it does not always tell the full story. Your quantitative and qualitative data may be communicating differently, so it’s important to gather more perspectives in order to gain deeper meaning. One common hurdle in evaluations is the inability to disaggregate. Disaggregation is critical to identifying singular data on specific identities such as race, gender identity, class, abilities, as well as intersections of identities.

  1. Examine what is being measured

In the words of Marc Miringoff, “we measure what we value.” Our environments, experiences, and institutions will impact our ideas about what is important and what should be measured. Therefore, institutionalized bias, prejudice, and racism will impact choices about the data we gather, the findings we prioritize and the meaning we ascribe to them. One way to mitigate racism within evaluations is to examine who is performing them. Evaluators have a lot of power, so ask: Are your evaluators diverse? Do they have an understanding of power and privilege? What data collection methods are being prioritized? Is your default indicator a white male?

  1. Consider who determines outcomes

It’s equally important to consider who’s involved in the post-evaluation process. After assessments are complete, someone will interpret the data and decide how to move forward. Consider shifting power dynamics from institutions and “experts” to communities and individuals most affected by the research. Evaluators can ask themselves, “Who is not included?” Define your theory of change and what it would take to achieve your outcomes. Identify your timetables and gather input from those who will be involved in making them happen. Think about what a negative or positive outcome might mean and who will frame those results.

Nonprofits should prioritize an equity lens throughout the process, even after evaluations have concluded. Be intentional about how your share data and make sure participants know what is being measured and why.

About YW Boston 

As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. Through our DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and youth programming, we help individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed. 

Heading into 2020: 3 Tax Law Updates that Impact Nonprofits

by Danielle Fleury, Director of Government Affairs

The end of 2019 and beginning of the new year brings changes at the federal and state level that impact nonprofits all across the Commonwealth. Here are three policy updates, summarized below, that nonprofits should be aware of:

Federal updates

  • The nonprofit transportation benefit tax has been repealed.

Strong advocacy from the nonprofit sector resulted in Congress supporting nonprofits in one of their last major actions of 2019. On December 20, 2019, the President signed H.R. 1865–a bipartisan appropriations bill–which included a repeal of the unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on transportation benefits, known as the “nonprofit parking tax.” Federal tax reform in 2017 had created this new 21% tax on certain commuting and parking benefits given to nonprofit employees. This is a retroactive repeal, meaning that nonprofits that had made payments under this new tax will be able to claim refunds. MNN joined state and national partners in calling for a repeal of this burdensome tax, and thanks nonprofits across Massachusetts for sharing their stories of impact and helping to make a strong case for repeal.

  • A change has been made to donors giving through IRA’s.

Since 2017 federal tax reform changed tax incentives for charitable giving, MNN has pointed out several strategies that nonprofits should know about in order to help donors maintain a tax benefit for their donations. One of these strategies–highlighted in the November edition of MassGives –applies to older donors making Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from their IRAs. The funding bill signed by the President on December 20 increased the age at which individuals must start making required minimum distributions–from 70 ½ to 72. Nonprofits should still promote this method of making tax deductible contributions, but should note the new age limit when discussing required minimum distributions.

State update

  • The state charitable tax deduction is returning.

Taxpayers and nonprofits in Massachusetts are poised to realize a new charitable giving benefit. On January 1, 2020, the state income tax rate in Massachusetts dropped to 5%. This prompts the return of the state charitable tax deduction, which is currently set in state statute to become available to taxpayers for contributions made in 2021 and beyond. While taxpayers are accustomed to writing off charitable contributions when itemizing their federal tax returns, the state charitable deduction will apply to contributions regardless of whether Massachusetts filers itemize or not. This incentive–which originated when Massachusetts voters approved a 2000 ballot initiative–will help offset concerning trends in the decline in individual giving, since federal tax policy altered the federal tax benefit that individuals receive for making charitable contributions.

MNN Statement on State Charitable Tax Deduction: “Individual Contributions are the Lifeblood of the Nonprofit Sector”

Earlier today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that the state charitable tax deduction will be restored for charitable contributions made in calendar year 2021 and beyond.

MNN released this statement from CEO Jim Klocke on the reinstatement of the state charitable tax deduction:

“The state charitable deduction will provide a much-needed boost to individual charitable giving, which declined in 2018 for the first time in years due to changes in federal tax law. These changes stripped donors of their ability to itemize their charitable contributions on their federal tax returns.”

“Most of the people who give to nonprofits in Massachusetts are middle- and low-income earners. The state deduction will benefit hundreds of thousands of them each year. We need to support and promote charitable giving.”

“Individual contributions are the lifeblood of the nonprofit sector. Individual contributions to nonprofits are three times as great as the funds given by foundations and corporations combined.”