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Some nonprofits worry about 'fiscal cliff' talks in Washington

Some non-profits worry about fiscal cliff talks in Washingto

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The end of the year is wrapping up, and nonprofits are tallying up this year's total donations. The Salvation Army is down $40,000 from last year. Catholic Charities doesn't have its total numbers in yet; it will know the results of this year's donation season at the beginning of January.

But "fiscal cliff" talks are worrying non-profits like Catholice Charities. 

President and CEO of Catholic Charities in Central Colorado, Mark Rohlena, said nonprofits are keeping a close eye on Washington.

"Right now, you can give in unlimited amounts as a charitable deduction and receive tax benefits for that," said Rohlena.

Now, he said, politicians are considering putting limits on those tax benefits.

"That's the only deduction that encourages people to give their money away.  A lot of times, those donors with the most means are the ones we rely on for those capitol projects, new buildings and big things. The amount they give will change if they don't get as big of a tax benefit," said Rohlena.

The Salvation Army's donations are down this year. It lost an estimated $15,000 because of Wednesday's snowstorm. Mareah Morrow is ringing a bell at the Colorado Springs Walmart off Razorback Road for 24 hours in hopes of getting more donations.

She said shoppers were giving generously. She's been ringing the bell for the Salvation Army for a long time, and she said the economy is to blame for the slump in donation numbers.

Rohlena said essentially, all the local charities fill the same needs in the community. Therefore, if one charity doesn't get as many donations, people in need will turn to other local charities for help.  He said nonprofits here and across the nation are keeping a close eye on Washington because they could take a big hit if politicians put limits on charitable deductions. 


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