Looking to Hope and Generosity this Holiday
By Deron Davis, The Nature Conservancy in Georgia
What a year this has been. From natural disasters to political uncertainty, 2017 has presented extreme challenges for our country. And, through it all Americans have proven to be resilient and strong, supporting one another in tough times and speaking out in peaceful protest. I believe that We, the people will continue to work for the betterment of our world and during this holiday season, I am celebrating the collective hope and commitment that were on display this year.
At The Nature Conservancy, thanks to the generous support of our donors, we are celebrating the progress we made in conserving Georgia’s lands and waters. Our big wins in 2017 include protecting land in the mountains of north Georgia for the first time in over a decade; adding 500 acres to the 15,000 the Conservancy owns and manages for longleaf pine near Columbus; and, adding 10,000 acres to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Sansavilla Wildlife Management Area along the Altamaha River near Jesup.
Every donation to the many mission-driven nonprofit organizations in Georgia is important, and even more so in these uncertain times. Donors to The Nature Conservancy can be college students who give $50 a year, wealthy landowners who donate valuable parcels…anyone who cares about the lands and waters on which all life depends. I am grateful for each person, family, corporation and foundation that supports our conservation mission.
Generous Georgians are currently determining where to make their last donations of the year. They are likely wondering how the tax bill working its way through Congress could impact their tax returns and the future of their favorite charities. Proposed changes in the standard deduction, elimination of the charitable deduction, and the phase-out of the estate tax could all mean less of a tax benefit for contributions made AFTER this year. And therefore, the potential for charitable institutions like The Nature Conservancy to realize less financial support for its mission in years to come.
It remains unclear what the final tax bill will include but Congress is working fast to sign it into law. What we know right now is that under current U.S. tax law, any donations made through December 31, 2017, are fully deductible, and vitally important to organizations working for meaningful causes. Whether you support The Nature Conservancy, or any of the many charitable institutions serving the people, lands, waters and animals of our state – thank you for your generosity.
I wish each of you a happy, healthy holiday season!