Our core mission is to promote greater and more accountable charitable giving. Charities have always been a unifying force and cornerstone in society, addressing a wide breadth of unmet needs and helping Americans navigate today’s health, social and economic crises. At a time when charities need help more than ever, significant private sector resources are sitting in philanthropic vehicles that could be used to support charities and the millions of people they serve. We believe fixing the inefficiencies in our charitable giving tax laws will ensure the timely flow and increase of resources to working charities from these philanthropic vehicles.
Statement of Principles
America’s charities are in a state of crisis. As the nation continues to wrestle with the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities and seeks to address issues of racial justice, demands for services from charities are greater than ever.
Congress has taken some steps to support charities and the beneficiaries they serve, but as philanthropists and representatives of major foundations and charities, we believe that government support cannot be the only solution.
America’s philanthropic sector can and should do more to help America’s charities.
Right now, more than $1 trillion is sitting in private foundations and donor-advised funds (DAFs). Existing laws deliver significant tax breaks upon initial funding, but do not provide sufficient incentives or requirements to ensure that these funds will ever be distributed to working charities.
Our coalition – The Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving – believes a few common-sense reforms could significantly increase the flow of resources to working charities from private foundations, donor-advised funds, and individuals, during this time of crisis and beyond.
1. For private foundations, close loopholes to better ensure that distributions qualifying for the payout requirement are available for use by working charities; and incentivize greater payout through reforms to the excise tax.
2. For donor-advised funds, adopt measures to make sure that DAF accounts are distributed to working charities within a reasonable period of time.
3. For individuals, incentivize greater giving by expanding and extending the new non-itemizer charitable deduction in a cost-effective way.
While many have given generously to address this crisis, current rules are not doing enough to close the connection between charitable tax benefits and benefits to charities. Significant private sector resources are sitting on the sidelines at a time when charities need help more than ever. As members of the charitable and philanthropic communities, we believe common-sense reforms would bring additional resources to bear at this critical time.
We are philanthropists, leaders of major foundations, non-profits and others who represent a broad spectrum of interests across philanthropy dedicated to making sure philanthropic dollars reach working charities and the communities they serve.
Distinguished Professor of Economics,
University of California,
Professor of Law
High Tide Foundation
Full Spectrum Capital Partners
CEO of XN
The Kresge Foundation
Managing Director, Lazard Ltd.
The Lodestar Foundation
Professor of Law
North Star Fund
Acumen & TED
Galaxy Digital LP
& The Well Daily
Rehabilitation Through The Arts
Professor of Political Science
Philosopher, Professor of Bioethics,
and Founder of The Life You Can Save
Former Executive Director,
Decolonizing Wealth Project
and Liberated Capital