Gratitude can be what gets us through a bad day. Or now, as the year comes to an end, gratitude can help us see the good in the past year and look at the coming year with hope. We at Blue Avocado are so grateful to all of you who read Blue Avocado, comment on articles, criticize us and praise us, reprint articles, and send us notes.
Let me take a moment, too, especially to thank our advertisers (see right and at bottom of page), our founding sponsors -- the Nonprofits' Insurance Alliance Group and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services -- and the 200+ individuals who have donated to Blue Avocado (we're like public TV: free to read but there are pledge breaks).
But this season comes with misgivings as well. The recent flurry of activity over the proposed cap on charitable deductions made many of us feel drowned in urgent calls to action pressing us to write to our Congressional representatives to make sure that the most affluent among us don't pay any more taxes as a result of making donations. (Some of the email and OpEd campaigns implied that all charitable deductions would be reduced, not just those in the very top tax bracket.)
Is there something off when the nonprofit's sector biggest campaign of the year is about defending the top 1% because otherwise they won't donate as much?
In fact, the whole exercise felt something like a Kabuki play about Chicken Little . . . mannered, rehearsed movements predicting doom when just about no one really thought the deduction reduction would ever take place.
We support the charitable deduction at its current level, but we couldn't help but have misgivings about the cry-wolf hyperbole and the characterization of nonprofits as charities that rely on donations from the wealthy rather than as economically robust drivers of social change, innovation, and prosperity. Just saying.
So with a mix of gratitude and misgivings, a very merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone, and a peaceful and prosperous new year.
* This issue is a fun mix: a harrowing update on the Vanguard Foundation story, a hair-raising story of how one nonprofit got through an IRS audit, a helpful (if slightly boring) article on interviewing candidates for the board, and a hilarious "Nonprofit Salary Calculator" just before you get your W-2 for the year. Plus a wonderful, unique gift you can give one of your co-workers . . . for free.
* See you in 2012 . . . Jan Masaoka