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Non-profits seeing fewer donations possibly due to change in tax law

Posted at 5:27 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 20:57:00-05

LANSING, Mich. — People don't necessarily donate to charity because of the tax benefit, but at the same time, without those benefits, people could be likely to give less.

Local non-profits, both big and small, are beginning to see this problem.

The white house on the corner of Walnut Street off of west Saginaw Street can easily go unnoticed.

"I think some people have sort of forgotten about us," Rebecca Nechuta, executive director of Hannah's House, said.

But that particular white house is a shelter for homeless, expectant mothers.

"They will come here and have a home with shelter and food. We help them get a job so they can take care of their newborn child," Nechuta said.

The non-profit Hannah's House depends on donations to operate, and lately they have been seeing less and less monetary donations come in.

Nechuta said the decline could be happening due to the recent tax law that nearly doubled the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples. With the increase, non-profits are seeing fewer people claim itemized deductions like charitable contributions.

"A lot people are taking the, 'let's wait and see how this impacts me until next year,' Major Jim Irvine, Salvation Army LCA Coordinator, said. "But unfortunately, what that could mean for the people that we serve, that may mean a slow down in services that we are able to provide."

The Lansing Capital Area Salvation Army is not only seeing a decrease in donor donations, but they are also seeing a decrease in their iconic red kettle collection.

They say currently the red kettle totals are down $25,000 compared to last year.

"We provide meals for a family of four for a month for $20, that $25,000 is a huge hole in the budget that we will have to make up, or it's fewer people we can serve," Irvine said.

The Lansing Capital Area Salvation Army said they have not had to cut any of their services yet due to their donation decrease, but it could happen in the future.

Both the Salvation Army and Hannah's House will base their 2020 budget on the donations they receive from now until the end of the year.

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