Drumbeat of support builds for charitable giving reforms as coalition commemorates one-year milestone
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving (IACG) welcomed seven new members representing nonprofits, community foundations, and other voices in the philanthropic sector: Black Belt Community Foundation, California Association of Nonprofits, California Wellness Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, GiveDirectly, and Homeboy Industries.
These new members add to the growing number of philanthropic leaders supporting common-sense reforms that accelerate resources to working charities. They join as the coalition recently commemorated one year since philanthropists, leaders of major foundations, and members across the philanthropic sector launched IACG.
Felecia Lucky, President of the Black Belt Community Foundation, said: “Here in the Black Belt of Alabama, we firmly believe that our rural communities know what is best for them when it comes to creating sustainably productive and lasting change. At the core of creating greater, more accountable, equity-driven charitable giving is relationship building and understanding local community needs. We are extremely excited and grateful to become a member of the Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving and work together to empower local charities with resources that help them tackle the ever-increasing challenges in their communities.”
Jan Masaoka, Chief Executive Officer at the California Association of Nonprofits, said: “The reforms proposed by the Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving stand at the intersection of equity, need, and tax fairness. Just as most foundations and DAF account holders are conscientious managers of their charitable dollars, most automobile drivers are safe drivers. But we still need safety regulations, drunk driving laws, enforcement and data.”
Judy Belk, President and CEO of the California Wellness Foundation, said: “Given the crises our state and nation are facing, we refuse to accept the status quo of individuals and institutions getting richer while communities are suffering. We support efforts to accelerate the flow of charitable dollars to communities, and we see the IACG as a step in the right direction. At Cal Wellness, we are pushing ourselves to reform our practices, and we hope collective efforts like the IACG prompt foundations like ours to embark on bold, fundamental shifts in their grantmaking as well.”
Nancy Van Milligen, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, said: “Communities and grassroots organizations in rural areas receive far less philanthropic investment than their urban counterparts. The Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving’s policy reforms are urgently needed to ensure that charitable giving closes this gap and directly supports these communities and organizations, which are on the front lines addressing critical and complex social issues. We need to fix the status quo of philanthropy and take bold action.”
Gerry Roll, Chief Executive Officer at the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, said: “Inequity abounds across our nation, and nowhere is it more blatant than philanthropy. Rural communities include 95% of the land and 20% of the people in the United States, not to mention being the source of our water and food. Yet barely 7% of philanthropic investment is made in rural communities. A critical step to closing this gap is ensuring charitable dollars sitting on the sidelines are actually used for charitable purposes. The Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving’s proposals provide an opportunity for all of us to thrive in the 21st century by accelerating the movement of charitable funds into our communities rather than being warehoused. Now is the time. We can’t simply continue to allow those holding onto the most assets be the only voice that gets heard.”
Joe Huston, Managing Director of GiveDirectly, said: “Too much money is sitting on the sidelines given how much good we can do today. This initiative is making a great push to unlock these funds. Imagine if philanthropic funds were already in the hands of the people we aim to help. Would they give them back so we can tweak plans on their behalf or put them to use right away?”
Thomas Vozzo, Chief Executive Officer at Homeboy Industries, said: “At Homeboy Industries, we’ve always stretched every dollar to help as many former gang members and inmates redirect their lives. The reality is there are still so many who come in needing our services. For nonprofits such as ours, access to resources is critical to uplifting our communities from poverty, homelessness, and violence. The Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving’s proposals prioritize getting those resources into the hands of working charities faster, giving us the opportunity to help anyone who walks through our door.”
As part of its launch last year on Giving Tuesday, IACG unveiled a statement of principles that outlines federal policy reforms that would restore the connection between charitable tax benefits and benefits to charities. Specifically, IACG proposes the following reforms:
- 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.
- For donor-advised funds (DAFs), adopt measures to make sure that DAF accounts are distributed to working charities within a reasonable period of time.
- For individuals, incentivize greater giving by expanding and extending the new non-itemizer charitable deduction in a cost-effective way.
Currently, more than $1 trillion sits on the sidelines in DAFs and private foundations without any assurances of being distributed to working charities. While individual charitable giving as a share of income has largely stayed the same for the past 40 years, contributions to DAFs and private foundations – instead of working charities – have skyrocketed, reaching 28 percent of all individual giving in 2019, compared to just 5 percent 30 years ago. In 2020, DAFs received nearly $48 billion, equivalent to the amount collectively received by the 85 most popular charities, and just as years prior, continue to retain a large majority of funds available for distribution.
About the Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving
The Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving (IACG) is a broad coalition of philanthropists, leaders of major foundations, non-profits and others who represent a broad spectrum of interests across philanthropy. IACG is dedicated to promoting common-sense, non-partisan federal policy reforms that close tax loopholes and re-establish charities as the center of charitable giving laws. For more information, visit www.acceleratecharitablegiving.org.