Article The Chronicle of Philanthropy

John Arnold and Ray Madoff Author Op-Ed on the Need for Congress to Put Charitable Giving Back on the Calendar

On Giving Tuesday, Philanthropist and Arnold Ventures co-founder John Arnold and Boston College Law School professor Ray Madoff, founding members of the Initiative to Accelerate Charitable Giving, penned an op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy about the need for reforms to America’s charitable tax laws to better support America’s charities.

Read excerpts from John and Ray’s piece below:

“In the spirit of GivingTuesday, it’s time for Congress to fix the broken connection between charitable tax benefits and benefits to charities by getting these contributions back on the calendar.”

“The problem is that no requirement exists for money set aside in donor-advised funds to ever get distributed to charities. Even more troubling, private foundations can use donor-advised funds to technically meet their requirement to distribute at least 5 percent of their assets annually. The combination of these rules means there is no assurance that any of the $1.2 trillion currently set aside in private foundations and DAFs will ever be made available for charitable use.”

“While innovative charitable vehicles are very advantageous to donors to enable flexibility, when taxpayers are footing the bill, the benefits to society need to be secured as well.”

“GivingTuesday has rightly focused global attention on giving for the sake of our communities and the enduring needs across the nation. We urge Congress to recognize the ability of the U.S. tax code to do the same.”

“The [ACE Act] thoughtfully recognizes the role of community foundations and other charities that promote informed giving in specific cities or regions to encourage long-term support and reduce administrative burdens.”

Find the full text of the op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy here.