CARES Act helps South African NPOs and universities raise funds in the US

Inyathelo FD Soraya Joonas urges NPOs and universities to take time to explore the CARES Act.

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by the US Congress in March, people who do not usually itemise deductions for their taxes can claim a deduction for charitable donations in the 2020/2021 financial year. 

These deductions are acceptable if they go to a US 501(c)(3), which refers to NPOs that are designated tax-exempt charitable organisations by the US federal tax authorities (popularly known as the IRS). 

Many of South Africa’s universities, and some NPOs, already have access to a 501(c)(3). Local NPOs seeking to raise funds in the US can open an ‘American friends fund’ at the King Baudouin Foundation United States (KBFUS).

Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement that advises on sustainability in the NPO, philanthropic and higher education sectors, FD Soraya Joonas says: 

“Changes to US tax law for this year could benefit South African NPOs and universities trying to raise money in America. We thought it useful to highlight this option with university alumni or donors living – or filing taxes – in the United States.”

She adds that this change in American law offers a charitable giving benefit for some local organisations and encourages these organisations to take professional advice and explore it.