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Charitable Giving Highlighted During AFP Yosemite Meet

In an effort to increase charitable contributions during the pandemic when many charities and nonprofits are suffering and finding it more difficult to provide services to the community, members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Yosemite Chapter, recently met with and asked Rep. Josh Harder for his support of key giving legislation.

The AFP Yosemite Chapter represents 60 members and organizations in Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Tuolumne and Merced counties and is part of a larger network of 26,000 fundraisers and charities around the world that collectively raise over $100 billion annually for a wide array of causes and missions. All members are required annually to sign AFP’s Code of Ethics, the only enforceable code in the fundraising profession.

“It was great to meet with Rep. Harder and talk about the important work of charities in our region,” said Melissa Van Diepen, Yosemite Chapter President. “He was very interested in our issues and understood how fundraisers and charities improve our local community.”

Five members of AFP Yosemite met with Rep. Harder and asked him to support measures to increase giving, including:

The universal charitable deduction, which would allow any taxpayer, even if they didn’t itemize their taxes, to take a deduction for their charitable gifts.

The IRA rollover, which would allow donors to “roll over” funds from their IRA tax-free to a charity.

“If enacted, these bills would dramatically increase giving—by the billions—every year, and that’s so important as so many charities have been struggling over the last year to continue to provide critically-needed programs and services to the community,” said Van Diepen. “Here, we’ve seen half of local nonprofits report decreases in charitable giving while also seeing a rise in demand for services according to data released from the Stanislaus Community Foundation. Charitable dollars are essential to maintaining a healthy civil society and provide needed resources for non-profits organizations to continue providing vital services in our communities, especially those critically impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

The meeting was part of AFP’s Virtual Lobby Week, involving chapters from across the U.S. meeting with members of Congress to educate them about charitable giving proposals and ask them for their support.

AFP Yosemite was founded in 1999 and represents a wide variety of non-profit organizations and fundraising expertise throughout the San Joaquin Valley region. Through education, training and advocacy, AFP Yosemite is advancing philanthropy to support the many important needs of the communities it serves.