Public Policy Update - May 2023

Philanthropy Southeast regularly provides members with updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at


Tell Your Legislators to Support the Universal Charitable Deduction!

Earlier this month, House lawmakers introduced bipartisan legislation, known as the Charitable Act, that would restore and expand the charitable deduction for non-itemizing taxpayers, also known as the universal charitable deduction, that expired at the end of 2021.

The legislation (HR 3435) is identical to a bill (S 566) introduced earlier this year in the Senate, where it also enjoys both Democratic and Republican support. If passed, the Charitable Act would restore the non-itemizer charitable deduction and increase the amount taxpayers could deduct to approximately $4,600 for individuals ($9,200 for joint filers). The legislation would also make gifts to donor-advised funds eligible for the universal charitable deduction.

Philanthropy Southeast joined hundreds of other philanthropy-supporting organizations, foundations, nonprofits and others in supporting the Charitable Act in a letter sent to lawmakers on May 17. The following Philanthropy Southeast members were among the many signatories:

  • Arkansas Community Foundation
  • Blue Grass Community Foundation
  • Central Carolina Community Foundation
  • Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina
  • Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area
  • Community Foundation of Louisville
  • Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi
  • Community Foundation of Sarasota County
  • Community Foundation of West Georgia 
  • Community Foundation of West Kentucky
  • The Gheens Foundation, Inc.
  • Greater New Orleans Foundation
  • J. Bulow Campbell Foundation
  • James Graham Brown Foundation
  • John Rex Endowment
  • Martha Christine White Foundation
  • North Georgia Community Foundation
  • South Arts
  • Winston-Salem Foundation
  • Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis

With the Charitable Act now enjoying bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, lawmakers need to hear from you about the urgent need for this bill! Learn how to contact your House representative here and your state’s senators here

Philanthropy Southeast is monitoring this legislation closely and will keep you up to date on its progress and opportunities to show your support.


Congress Moves Toward Debt Ceiling Deal

This afternoon, the debt ceiling deal between the White House and House Republicans passed a key procedural vote, making it likely that the bill will pass this evening and become law before the government runs out of cash on June 5.

The legislation, which is likely to pass the Senate after the House vote, would suspend the debt ceiling – the government’s borrowing authority – until January 2025, after the next presidential election.

While the bill does not contain any tax provisions affecting foundations, the spending cuts in the deal could have an impact on nonprofits and communities throughout the region. In particular, the bill would impose new work requirements on food stamp recipients who are ages 50-54 and have no children living at home. Veterans, the homeless and those who were in foster care as children are exempt from the requirements.


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Mission: Philanthropy Southeast strengthens Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.