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Monday, May 11, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Charitable Contributions Expected to Dip in 2020; But Many Taxpayers Are Choosing To Donate All or Part of the Stimulus Check


PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 11, 2020): Arizona residents and taxpayers receiving a stimulus check in the wake of the COVID crisis are increasingly indicating that they will be seeking to donate these funds to nonprofits. Charity Navigator, which evaluates and rates nonprofits, has seen a correlation between stimulus checks and an increase in charitable giving.

“We are hearing that many people are interested in donating their stimulus checks to Arizona nonprofits because they may not need the money themselves at this time,” said Kristen Merrifield, CEO at the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “Given the financial impact this pandemic has had across the sector and the economy, we are excited to witness the willingness of individuals to try to help those in need in our communities. We want to provide general guidance for those making this decision with their stimulus checks.”

 One such donor, who did not wish to be named, generously gave to ten different organizations on April 7 using her stimulus check funds. They said “I gave away my stimulus check because they (nonprofits) needed it more than I did.” 

The Alliance of Arizona has developed 5 Guiding Principles for those wishing to donate their stimulus funds.  


1.     Use, Charity Navigator and Guidestar.
Use online tools to find, research and vet who you give to.

“Before making a donation, vetting the organization you’re about to support ensures its credibility and provides comfort in knowing the money will be directed where it’s needed most,” says Merrifield.

2.     Make your gift for general operating support rather than a specific program

This allows the organization's leaders to decide how to use the money themselves. “Nonprofit leaders and their management teams understand how best to allocate funds donated to them,” said Jennifer Purcell, VP of Community Engagement at the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “They are then able to use these dollars where it will be the most impactful for the organization and those they serve.”

3.     Tax Ramifications: There may be tax ramifications to consider and you should consult your financial advisor if you have questions.
“Your tax advisor can assist you in confirming the selected organization is a public charity and the benefit to your tax situation based on your circumstances.   The stimulus payment is not taxable income to you” says Carolyn Sechler of Sechler Moran CPAs. “Individuals can elect to deduct cash contributions, up to 100% of their 2020 adjusted gross income, on itemized 2020 tax returns.

“The new
deduction available for 2020 as part of the CARES Act is only for cash gifts up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for couples) that go to a public charity, not a private foundation,” says Sechler. This is particularly beneficial to taxpayers who take the standard deduction when filing their taxes (in other words for taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions).

Charities and nonprofits should make it clear whether they qualify as a charitable organization, making it possible for donors to claim a tax deduction. Contributions and gifts to individuals are never tax deductible.

4.     Giving Locally: Local Funds Can Make a Big Impact.

Arizona’s nonprofits are losing revenue at an astonishing pace according to a recent poll by the Alliance. This week, the Alliance received 306 responses to its updated Covid-19 Nonprofit Impact Pulse Poll, and it is reporting 98% of responding organizations have been impacted significantly by the COVID-19 crisis. 86% of those impacted report decreased revenue, and 76% indicate a disruption of services to clients and communities. Total revenue loss reported thus far in Arizona is nearly $40M. The anticipated loss through then end of the respondents’ fiscal year is nearly $433M. These findings are current as of May 4, 2020.

5.     Keep a Record.
You may receive a letter or email of acknowledgement from the charity you donate to, and it’s important to keep that transactional record. Keep records allowing you see how the donation was made (cash/check/credit card), and be sure to make sure the statements note if you received any goods or services in exchange for the donation, and their value.


• Kristen Merrifield, CEO, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, (602) 279-9150

• Steve Carr, The Kur Carr Group, Inc., (602) 317-3040

• Kate Crowley, Crowley Communications, (480) 277-4178


About the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits: The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits is a statewide trusted resource and advocate for the nonprofit community. The Alliance’s mission is to unite, strengthen and advance Arizona’s nonprofit sector and is comprised of more than 1,000 members – both nonprofits and those in the community who support them – across the state. Since 2004, the organization has been dedicated to furthering the common interests of Arizona’s nonprofit community and envisions an Arizona where all nonprofits are valued, empowered and thriving, with support from grassroots efforts like Arizona Gives Day. For more information, visit, or email

About Arizona Grantmakers Forum: Arizona Grantmakers Forum is the statewide network for foundations, businesses with giving programs and individual philanthropists. The organization aims to advance philanthropic efforts at all levels, from grassroots community work to state and federal policy initiatives.  Arizona Grantmakers is driven by a belief that collaboration among philanthropic organizations is vital to building a more equitable and prosperous Arizona.  For more information, please visit


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