As of the writing of this article, the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the 46th President of the United States is just days away. Although past changes in the balance of political power have had little impact on overall charitable giving, we know that when donors experience uncertainty they tend to postpone and delay their giving decisions. This is a natural reaction: charitable giving is optional and, faced with uncertainty, the rational choice is to slow down or defer giving until the future becomes clearer.
Changes in tax law can create new and different gift opportunities. Gift planners will need to watch carefully and be prepared to react strategically to changing circumstances. What concerns might surface among donors? Could potential changes affect donors’ gift plans? How might we anticipate and address them? In this article we begin with a review of some concerns that are likely to be on donors’ minds with respect to charitable giving followed by a discussion of some of the essential processes by which Washington works.