In order to foster investment in the community, the federal government should give each working-age American $100 per year to donate to a 501(c)3 non-profit. This would funnel approx. $20 billion to local non-profits, and it can easily be paid for by reducing the tax credit for itemized donations to a maximum of 22% with a floor of $500 for itemized deductions.
Philanthropy right now favors interest areas that the wealthy like to support, and the itemized charitable deduction is enjoyed almost entirely by the richest Americans. Making every American a philanthropist would facilitate new interactions in the community and diversify the organizations that are supported. It would also make sure that non-profits could be rewarded more by the people that they serve, increasing their efficiency.
Problems to be Solved
- People feel less invested in the goals of their local community
- Philanthropy is regarded as the province of the wealthy
- Causes that the wealthy prefer get more donations
- Civic engagement
- Get people to donate money locally
- Make non-profits more responsive to constituent needs
- Increase civic engagement
- Shift non-profit interests toward broader goals
As President, I will…
- Direct the IRS to create a Prosperity Grant program.
- Each year at the beginning of the year Americans would receive $100 that could only be donated to a 501c3 institution through the same mechanism that they receive the Freedom Dividend/Universal Basic Income.
- Work with Congress to change the tax code to account for Prosperity Grants.