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FAQ

FAQs

About The Greater Give

Why was The Greater Give founded?

The Greater Give is a nonprofit organization founded to compel more giving by cultivating a movement of shared responsibility in the workplace.

Who founded The Greater Give?

The Greater Give was founded by Dan and Patti Rashke as part of their efforts to support the philanthropic community and increase charitable giving.

What is TASC’s relationship to The Greater Give?

TASC owners, Dan and Patti Rashke, founded The Greater Give as part of their personal and business mission to “do good.” As a company that values corporate social responsibility, TASC is proud to support The Greater Give and its mission to compel more giving.

How does The Greater Give support charitable giving outcomes?

The Greater Give is a tool to help compel more giving. The Everyday Philanthropist Act is only one aspect of our work. The Greater Give provides employer resources on strategic philanthropy, connects like-minded businesses to foster a culture of shared responsibility, and advocates for changes in public policy. With an incentive to get more individuals and employers engaged in the act of giving, we aim to raise charitable giving by 1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). If we could push giving to 3 percent of GDP, it would add hundreds of billions of dollars to the charitable sector. Increasing charitable donations would have a tremendous effect on the work nonprofits are able to achieve – allowing not only for a broader reach but the time and resources needed to impact communities in new and innovative ways. Additionally, we could decrease the country’s dependence on government-funded social programs.

What does it mean to democratize giving?

The concept of philanthropy is often associated with high net wealth individuals, but at The Greater Give we believe that anyone can be a philanthropist. Our effort to democratize giving means that we are expanding the base of giving to empower participation from the many, the “Everyday Philanthropists” who want to give back regardless of their status or circumstance. Contributions of all sizes can affect positive change, particularly when more donations are made more often.

Are we oversaturating donors with too many ways to give?

Philanthropy is by nature a very personal act, in which donors select when, to whom, how much and in what way to give. At The Greater Give, our mission is to compel more giving, and therefore we do not want to limit a donor’s ability to choose. We believe that Flexible Giving Accounts can help simplify the donation process. Employees enroll in an FGA and select the charity or charities to allocate a portion of their paycheck to. If desired, employees will have flexibility to change their elections at any time.

About the Everyday Philanthropist Act (H.R. 4002)

What is an “Everyday Philanthropist?”

Traditionally “philanthropy” has been thought of as only for the wealthy, but the term is much broader than that. By definition, a philanthropist is “one who makes an active effort to promote human welfare.” The Greater Give aims to democratize giving and redefine the concept of philanthropy to include everyday, working Americans who, regardless of their status or circumstance, want to give back to the communities they care about. These are our “Everyday Philanthropists.”

Why is it called the “Everyday Philanthropist Act?”

H.R. 4002 is named the “Everyday Philanthropist Act” because it was created to empower everyday, working Americans who want to give back to their communities regardless of their status, income level, or tax bracket.

How can I support the Everyday Philanthropist Act?

If you represent a business, organization, or nonprofit you can sign on as a public supporter of the bill here. Individuals can show their support for the bill by posting on social media with the hashtag: #EverydayPhilanthropist.

Is the Everyday Philanthropist Act a partisan issue?

No. The Everyday Philanthropist Act has garnered support on both sides of the aisle.

Where can I find the legislation language?

You can find the legislation of the Everyday Philanthropist Act (H.R. 4002) here.

Who supports the Everyday Philanthropist Act?

The Everyday Philanthropist Act has garnered support from nonprofits, businesses, think tanks, universities, and trade associations. Our supporters include America’s Charities, American Family Insurance, Community Health Charities, Global Impact, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Who sponsors the Everyday Philanthropist Act?

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the Everyday Philanthropist Act with cosponsor Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY). Additional cosponsors are Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI), Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI).

Has the Everyday Philanthropist Act been scored by the CBO yet?

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the Everyday Philanthropist Act with cosponsor Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY). Additional cosponsors are Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI).

Was the Everyday Philanthropist Act created in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act?

No, the bill was created in response to a long-standing issue within our tax code, under which only itemizers (taxpayers who typically fall in the highest income brackets) are able to lower their taxes by giving to charity. At The Greater Give, we believe taxpayers should feel empowered to give back regardless of their income level, so we worked with Congress to introduce this legislation that would allow non-itemizers to lower their taxes by giving back as well.

When will the Everyday Philanthropist Act become a law?

We are eager for the Everyday Philanthropist Act to be signed into law so that millions more Americans can feel empowered to give back. But we need your support! Help us speed the process along by signing your organization on as a supporter.

How is the Everyday Philanthropist Act different from the Universal Charitable Giving Act?

The Universal Charitable Giving Act proposes a universal deduction available to all taxpayers. The Everyday Philanthropist Act proposes the creation of a Flexible Giving Account (FGA) that would empower employees to give back. While both bills aim to increase charitable giving by granting tax incentives for giving back to many more Americans, the Everyday Philanthropist Act also strives to foster a culture of shared responsibility in the workplace. We believe the implementation of FGAs would empower the cultural shift needed to increase giving in the workplace.

Is the Everyday Philanthropist Act meant to serve as an alternative to the Universal Charitable Giving Act?

No. Both or either bills passing would only lead to an even greater increase in charitable giving.

About Flexible Giving Accounts

How does a Flexible Giving Account (FGA) work?

A Flexible Giving Account (FGA) is a pre-tax payroll deduction for employee giving. Eligible employees would enroll in an FGA with their employer and allocate a portion of their paycheck to be deducted pre-tax for charitable giving. For every dollar that is contributed pre-tax, the employee reduces their taxable income, and the employer lowers company payroll taxes.

Is a Flexible Giving Account (FGA) an actual account?

An FGA is not like a savings account at a bank. Funds are not docked away. An FGA is intended to serve as a “money in, money out” model, where funds are transferred directly to charities. It is an arrangement in which eligible employees elect to receive a reduction in compensation and have the employer disburse the amount of the reduction to the designated entity.

Does a Flexible Giving Account (FGA) have to be maintained by a financial institution?

No, an FGA is not an actual account where funds are docked away. An FGA operates as “money in, money out,” where funds are transferred directly to charities based on the employee’s payroll deduction election.

Who is eligible to use a Flexible Giving Account (FGA)?

All employees are eligible to use an FGA unless they qualify as a highly compensated or key employee as defined by the Internal Revenue Code. Employers may elect to exclude employees under the age of 21, employees who have less than one year of service with the employer during the plan year, or employees described by section 410(b)(3)(C) by the Internal Revenue Code.

Is there a limit on how much money you can allocate to your Flexible Giving Account (FGA)?

Employees can contribute up to $2,700 per year into their Flexible Giving Account (FGA) pre-tax. Any additional amount placed into an FGA will still be included in your taxable income.

Why is the maximum pre-tax contribution to a Flexible Giving Account (FGA) set at $2,700?

The $2,700 cap is comparable to the maximum amount employees can contribute to their healthcare flexible spending account (FSA) in the 2019 plan year. The bipartisan sponsors of The Everyday Philanthropist Act recognized that a lower cap will help the bill score better, meaning it will cost the federal government less, and therefore it will be more appealing to Congress. Individuals can elect to contribute more to their Flexible Giving Accounts, but any amount above $2,700 will be included in their taxable income.

How quickly will an employer transfer funds to the employee’s charity of choice?

FGAs will be administered in much the same way as other consumer-directed accounts, such as Health Savings Accounts and retirement accounts. As such, employers will disperse funds in alignment with government regulations for these other benefit accounts. For example, 401k plan assets are sent to the plan trustee no later than 15 business days after the end of the month in which the money is deducted.

What organizations are eligible to receive donations through a Flexible Giving Account (FGA)?

Any organization certified as a 501(c)(3) public charity by the IRS is eligible to receive donations through an FGA. We suggest referring to the approved list of more than 10,000 charities used by the Combined Federal Campaign, the workplace giving program of federal government employees and retirees.

Can employers ban their employees from giving to certain organizations through Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs)?

The Everyday Philanthropist Act is not intended to be a partisan issue. Any organization certified as a 501(c)(3) public charity by the IRS is eligible to receive donations through an FGA. However, there is potential for an employer to object to a specific organization or cause to which their employee wants to contribute. We recommend that specific charities should not be excluded for discriminatory reasons.

Can universities receive donations through a Flexible Giving Account (FGA)?

Yes, most colleges and universities are qualified to receive tax-free donations by the IRS.

Can trade associations receive donations through a Flexible Giving Account (FGA)?

No, trade associations (or any 501(c)(6) organizations) are not qualified to receive tax-free donations by the IRS.

Will employees be able to hold donations in their Flexible Giving Account (FGA) indefinitely?

A Flexible Giving Account (FGA) is intended to serve as a “money in, money out” account used to transfer funds directly to charities. An FGA is not intended to function as a holding location where funds are left sitting year after year.

What happens to unused funds left in a Flexible Giving Account (FGA) at the end of the year?

Unlike a healthcare flexible spending account, there is no need for use-it-or-lose-it or carryover provisions with FGAs. As soon as an employee enrolls in an FGA, they elect the charity or charities of their choice to receive funds. FGAs are a “money in, money out” account, where the employer is responsible for dispersing funds to charities no later than 15 business days after the end of the month in which the money is deducted. An FGA is not a holding location and will not accumulate unused funds.

How much work will this create for the employer?

The Flexible Giving Account (FGA) is modeled after other benefit programs such as Parking, Transit and Dependent Care accounts that many employers already utilize. These can be self-administered or administrated through payroll providers, HRIS platforms, or third party administrators. This leaves little work for the employer, who simply sees the benefits of lower payroll taxes and happier employees!

Can I set up a Flexible Giving Account (FGA) for my employees now?

Congress is currently reviewing the Everyday Philanthropist Act (H.R. 4002) that has proposed the creation of Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs). We are hopeful that Congress will see the far-reaching benefits of this legislation and approve the bill so that businesses, nonprofits, and taxpayers can enjoy the benefits! You can help push the legislation along by signing your organization on as a supporter here.

Who will administer a Flexible Giving Account (FGA)?

Employers will have the option to administer the Flexible Giving Account (FGA) themselves or enlist the help of a third party who specializes in managing such benefit programs (i.e payroll providers, HRIS platforms, or third party administrators). In the latter case, donor information and donation delegation will be kept confidential much like with any consumer directed account (e.g. a Health Savings Account).

Will TASC profit from the administration of Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs)?

As a third-party administrator (TPA), TASC would be able to offer FGAs to its customers should the Everyday Philanthropist Act become law. But TASC will not charge for the implementation and management of FGAs. That is the practice TASC employs currently with customers of Universal Benefit Account®, who can add a free workplace giving account to their plan. TASC will uphold The Greater Give’s mission to compel more giving without receiving a direct financial benefit from the proposed legislation.

What are costs associated with Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs)?

The costs associated with FGAs would be nominal. FGAs can be self-administered by employers, which might incur up-front costs to set up the account with payroll, but administration afterward would be at minimal cost. Furthermore, the FICA savings an employer will gain would offset the additional costs. Payroll providers, HRIS platforms, or third-party administrators can also administer FGAs, and adding a new account would not be a heavy lift to their normal business practice.

Donations to charities may have related transaction or processing fees related to the payment method (e.g., check, credit card or online donation), matching gifts, and/or fundraising model (e.g., federation, crowdfunding platform).

Is there a minimum contribution requirement?

No, Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs) have no minimum requirements. The FGA was created to empower the Everyday Philanthropist, so all contributions, no matter how small, are accepted.

Will administrative fees reduce the amount of a donation made through Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs)?

Employers that choose to self-administer FGAs will not incur administrative fees. Third-party administrators may or may not charge for the implementation and management of FGAs.

Donations to charities may have related transaction or processing fees related to the payment method (e.g., check, credit card or online donation), matching gifts, and/or fundraising model (e.g., federation, crowdfunding platform).

Can employees use a Flexible Giving Account (FGA) to contribute to a donor-advised fund?

Yes, employees can choose a donor-advised fund (DAF) to be the recipient of their donation. Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs) are intended to quickly disburse funds to charities. Because of this “money in, money out” model, DAFs with a similar philosophy will prove the most impactful in terms of their ability to provide more donations to more charities more quickly.

Are sole proprietors or “gig economy” workers eligible for Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs)?

Flexible Giving Accounts will be included among the benefits of traditional full-time employment, and are unfortunately not a solution for sole proprietors or independent contractors. While we recognize that there are other populations that will not be eligible for FGAs, we believe that the traditional workplace is an important place to engage Everyday Philanthropists. In our shared responsibility model, both employers and employees are encouraged to lean in and make a positive impact on communities. We have seen success with this model in terms of employees contributing to retirement accounts as well as dependent care flexible spending accounts and other fringe benefit accounts.

Can a coworking group, association or other affiliated group take advantage of Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs)?

FGAs are designed for the traditional workplace with reporting on the W-2, and therefore cannot be accessed through an individual’s affiliation with another type of organization. We believe in cultivating a culture of giving through the employer-employee relationship. Behavioral change that begins with an employer transcends to the employee. We have seen success with this model in terms of employees contributing to retirement accounts as well as dependent care flexible spending accounts and other fringe benefit accounts.

Where do unions fit in?

We recognize the role that unions have played in the history of workplace giving and charitable payroll deduction. Much like unions implementing automatic payroll deduction to collect dues from wages, employers used payroll deduction to withhold charitable pledges from employee’s paychecks. Union leaders and corporate executives who became overwhelmed by multiple fundraising drives eventually embraced a single workplace giving campaign, which planted the seeds for the largest workplace giving campaign in the nation: the Combined Federal Campaign. Today, with a single ask, employers can encourage employee charitable giving at scale.

Can employers provide a match to their employees’ charitable contributions through Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs)?

While a matching contribution is not written into the bill (H.R. 4002), employers will have the discretion whether or not to financially match donations that their employees make to nonprofit organizations. This is the same practice that employers apply in their current workplace giving initiatives.

Will the IRS allow double-dipping between a Flexible Giving Account (FGA) and the deduction of charitable contributions?

No, a taxpayer will not be able to take a tax deduction for charitable contributions that have been donated through an FGA.

Can an employee stop and/or change Flexible Giving Account (FGA) deductions at any time?

Yes, FGAs are intended to be truly flexible and changes can be made on a monthly basis. This is unlike a healthcare flexible spending account (FSA), in which an employee makes an election at open enrollment that is locked in through that plan year, unless a qualifying event occurs. Flexibility will encourage more giving. For example, an employee could elect a new charity to receive funds based on current events or a change in personal circumstances. Employees could also update their elections if their employer expands the list to include smaller, local nonprofits, such as a church or museum.

How much could I save as an individual on income taxes with a Flexible Giving Account (FGA)?

Your savings depend on your income, contribution, and other factors. To calculate your tax savings, please use our FGA Tax Calculator.

How much could my company save on payroll taxes with a Flexible Giving Account (FGA)?

Your company’s savings depend on the number of employees using a Flexible Giving Account (FGA) and their total yearly contribution. To calculate your company’s tax savings, please use our Employer Tax Calculator.

Will reporting be required?

FGA donations are payroll deducted and sent to the approved charity or charities of the employee’s choice. The employer will provide to each participating employee, on or before January 31 of each year, a written accounting of the employee’s flexible giving account showing deposits and disbursements during the previous calendar year. This reporting could be achieved through a box on the W-2, much like dependent care or 401k accounts.

Will documentation be required?

Yes, the nonprofit community currently provides written acknowledgement (receipts) for donors to use in charitable giving contributions. These receipts should be retained for tax reporting purposes.