Post by Alexei Bien
Whether you’re a newcomer to the state or an established Oregonian with a long history of giving, you should know about the Oregon Cultural Trust. The Oregon Legislature created Oregon Cultural Trust in 2001 to fund arts, heritage, and humanities nonprofits. If you contributed to one or more of Oregon Cultural Trust’s list of 1,600 eligible nonprofits—Literary Arts among them—then you can essentially double your impact ‘for free’ through the Cultural Trust.
Here’s how it works:
- Total what you gave to eligible nonprofits over the calendar year.
- Give a matching amount to Oregon Cultural Trust by December 31.
- Report your gift to Oregon Cultural Trust on your State Tax Form for 2021.
- Receive 100% of that gift back in the form of a tax credit.
Tax Credits vs. Tax Deductions
Though both are beneficial, a tax credit lowers your total liability on a dollar-for-dollar basis while a tax deduction only reduces the amount of income subject to tax. As an example, if you owe $1,500 in state taxes, a $1,000 tax credit will reduce your total tax bill to $500. If you itemize your deductions, you are eligible to receive both the deduction from your original donation(s) as well as a credit for the matching amount given to Oregon Cultural Trust. And if you take the standard deduction, you’ll still receive the credit!
Last year, Oregonians donated $5.2M to the Oregon Cultural Trust. This summer, OCT distributed a record-setting $3.2M to our state’s nonprofit community (the remainder was added to the Cultural Trust’s permanent fund). Over the past ten years, grants from OCT have helped fund Literary Arts’ Oregon Book Awards & Fellowships program, which supports, promotes, and celebrates writers and publishers who produce remarkable work across Oregon. Beyond providing recognition and financial support to published and emerging writers, the program also fosters connection with Oregon’s readers and writers through free community programming.
As we approach the end of a calendar year marked by recovery and resolve, we encourage you to double your impact statewide by contributing directly to Literary Arts and then making a matching donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust.