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Greater Economic Equity will be Our Bread and Butter

Let’s face it, as fundraisers, our success lies with the largesse and generosity of people in the top 2% of wealth – those with annual incomes greater than $400,000. In the alchemy of our economy, all equations balance in the end … so if wealth is concentrated in one place, there is an absence of wealth in others.

I raise this troubling circumstance in light of President Biden’s current proposals, that at their core, would invest in the welfare of the 98% and in resources the 2%’s benefit from as well. We ALL need clean water and air, plumbing that works, reliable power, healthy food, internet access, safe roads and bridges, airports with the latest technology, and leading-edge research and development.

If this is funded through increased taxes on the 2% and business profits, then let us call these proposals what they are … a massive redistribution of wealth through domestic investment. In my opinion it is long overdue.

Fundraising Forecast… Mostly Sunny

Forecasting the effect this will have on nonprofit organizations and fundraising is an interesting exercise. Some thoughts:

  1. The wealthy will still be wealthy.
  2. Those who are philanthropically inclined will remain so.
  3. People in higher income tax brackets will have larger tax deductions for their charitable giving.
  4. If the capital gains tax is dramatically increased, look for a tsunami of gifts of appreciated stock.
  5. Companies may return lower dividends to investors but, as they need to still be good corporate citizens, they will continue to provide charitable sponsorships and grants.

Trillions is Real Money

If the economy is stimulated by the proposed investment of trillions of dollars, we will see:

  1. People without a college education be able to get better paying jobs (estimated 90% of new jobs created).
  2. People have new opportunities to learn a trade and work in their chosen fields.
  3. The demand for labor will increase, along with wages. National minimum wage legislation may become a moot point.
  4. People of color have more opportunities to make a living wage jobs.
  5. Working parents with greater access to available and affordable childcare and pre-K programs.
  6. The demand for human services will return to manageable levels, and those who were helped during their hard times will be grateful during the good times.
  7. Larger audiences for cultural events.
  8. New life in annual giving programs as the small-dollar donor pool expands.
  9. Major giving programs hold their own because businesses generally benefit from a strong economy, and senior executives and investors continue to reside in the 2% club.

There will always be need for most nonprofit organizations and their missions.

But there does not need to be economic inequality.


Copley Raff’s mission: Every interaction is to help nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions by meeting ambitious goals, aligning their leadership, elevating fundraising, and activating the brilliance of their teams. It’s a bold promise but one that we know will serve you and your organization’s mission in a way that will deliver tangible and meaningful results – the kind of results that make a real difference!


  1. Pingback:Is Philanthropy An Answer to Inequality? | Copley Raff

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