The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill encourages Americans to donate to charity

The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill encourages Americans to donate to charity

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Nonprofit leaders had wanted the stimulus bill to allow taxpayers to deduct up to $2,000 in charitable contributions, and had wanted taxpayers to be able to claim the deductions on this year’s taxes, but the bill didn’t include those requests. However, the final version of the bill is still welcome news for nonprofits, said Rick Cohen, a spokesman for the National Council of Nonprofits.

“It’s not perfect, but this is going to help,” Cohen told MarketWatch. “Every taxpayer having the ability to get a deduction for donating to charity will make a difference. We know that not everybody is going to be in a position to donate now, but anything that can help people dig a little deeper, if they have that option, is going to help. So we’re grateful.”

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Though the public sometimes assumes nonprofits are mostly run by do-gooder volunteers, the sector represents a significant chunk of the U.S. workforce that’s threatened by the dire economic consequences of the coronavirus, like others, Cohen said.

The nonprofit sector employs 12.3 million people and is the third-largest industry in the country, Cohen said, employing more people than manufacturing, transportation and construction. 

“When a nonprofit closes down, it’s not just the play you’re not going to be able to see at the community theater or the animal you’re not going to be able to adopt at the animal shelter,” Cohen said. “It’s more people out of work.”

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