Tax reform can lead to increased charitable impact

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law on December 22, 2017, bringing about substantial changes in tax legislation, including tax cuts for businesses that generated substantial savings for many companies1.

Companies have already begun to re-allocate the money saved in a variety of ways, many seeing it as an opportunity to give back to their employees and their communities. Southwest Airlines – which has worked with SVCF on corporate responsibility initiatives for years – rewarded all 55,000 of its employees with $1,000 bonuses2. AT&T invested $1 billion in capital expenditures, creating more jobs and economic activity3.

Companies have also amplified paid volunteer and matching gifts programs for employees. Boeing increased gift matching levels from $6,000 to $10,000 and reduced the number of minimum volunteer hours needed to qualify for a company match as part of its “Dollars for Doers” program.

Finally, some organizations have decided to increase philanthropic giving and establish new corporate foundations. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its charitable contributions by 40 percent, to $1.75 billion over five years4, and U.S. Bank contributed $150 million to the U.S. Bank Foundation5. First Financial Bancorp contributed $3 million to its newly established charitable foundation6 and Brown-Forman said it would use $60 million to $70 million to establish its first charitable foundation7.

Whether through a matching program or a corporate foundation, companies’ philanthropic efforts help foster employee loyalty, strengthen an organization’s public image, and increase its positive impact on its community.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation hopes that companies continue to use this change in tax law as an opportunity to make a difference! To find out how SVCF’s Corporate Responsibility team can help your organization build or improve its philanthropic programs, contact us at donate@siliconvalleycf.org.

1) https://waysandmeans.house.gov/signed-law-first-overhaul-nations-tax-code-31-years/ 
2) http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-southwest-american-employee-bonus-20180102-story.html
3) http://about.att.com/story/att_to_invest_an_additional_1_billion_in_the_united_states_if_competitive_tax_rate_enacted.html
4) https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/jpmorgan-chase-to-boost-philanthropic-investments-by-1.75-billion
5) https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/u.s.-bank-pledges-150-million-to-charity
6) https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/first-financial-announces-pay-increase-for-hourly-associates-and-major-contribution-to-foundation-300577060.html
7) https://www.courier-journal.com/story/money/companies/2018/01/24/brown-forman-starts-charitable-foundation-using-tax-reform-cash/1059875001/