The CARES Act: Provisions that Encourage Charitable Giving

Categories: Leadership,

The CARES Act provides two provisions that encourage charitable giving during the COVID-19 crisis for year 2020:


  • Cash Gifts: Itemizers can deduct up to 100% against their adjusted gross income for cash gifts contributed to public charities in 2020. The prior cap was 60%, so this is a major incentive for many individual donors looking to offset their taxes due with a sizable charitable cash gift in 2020.

  • Universal Charitable Deduction: For those donors who do not itemize on their tax return, individuals and married couples filing jointly can claim a $300 above the line deduction for cash contributions made to public charities.
To take advantage of these charitable incentives, the donor is prohibited from making the contributions to a donor advised fund or to a supporting organization. However, you may make a substantial cash gift to the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to create:

  • A designated fund (benefiting certain named charities over a course of time)
  • A field of interest fund (to support and benefit causes you care about)
  • A scholarship fund (to provide educational support to an individual)
  • Support for our time-tested and trusted Season of Sharing, which for 20 years has been providing a vital safety net assisting more than 35,000 families and individuals with the immediate basic needs necessary to stay in their homes and regain stability.

About Author

Betsy Pennewill, JD

Corporate Counsel