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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

2014: Rehabilitating Arlington

When Robert E. Lee sided with his state instead of his nation and took command of the Confederate army, the U.S. seized his family estate located on a hill overlooking the nation’s capital from the south bank of the Potomac. Lee’s home—Arlington House, which was built as a tribute to his relative George Washington and modeled on the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens—was turned into a military headquarters. The grounds became the residence of several thousand liberated slaves, and then, in the third year of the war, a cemetery for men killed in the fight to preserve the Union.

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ACR News 12.12.14 - Down to the Wire

>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: Congress Mulls Extenders Package
>> Federal: President Leaning in on Tax Reform?
>> Federal: Incoming Finance Chairman Release Tax Reform Report
>> Federal: Cardin Releases Proposal, Preserves Charitable Deduction
>> Consider This: Top Five
>> Top Reads: WH floats veto threat on charitable tax bill

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No Good Donation Goes Un-Sniped At

By Joanne Florino

Image © Heatherwick Studio
Image © Heatherwick Studio

As I read David Callahan’s November 30, 2014 New York Times opinion essay about the private philanthropy behind the planned Pier 55—a new offshore public park in a previously industrialized section of the Hudson River—I was reminded of one the old phrase: No good deed goes unpunished. While conceding that park-giving generosity is “admirable,” Mr. Callahan worries that “it also poses a threat to the ability of everyday Americans to have an equal voice in civic life” and “is part of a larger story about rising inequality and shrinking democracy.”

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House to Vote on One-Year Tax Extenders Package, Including IRA Charitable Rollover

Yesterday, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which would extend over 50 annually expiring tax provisions – known collectively as “tax extenders” – just through December 2014. Included in this extenders package is the IRA charitable rollover provision, which allows individuals of at least 70 1/2 years of age to make tax-free distributions from their Individual Retirement Accounts to charity. The bill also extends two other charitable provisions: the deduction for conservation easement contributions and the deduction for gifts of food inventory.

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ACR Blog: #GivingTuesday

Thousands of volunteers and organizations will participate in the third annual #GivingTuesday today in an effort to further support the nonprofit sector and charitable organizations. According to the organization’s website, #GivingTuesday is a movement to designate a national day of giving on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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ACR News 11.26.14—The Latest: Tentative Tax Extenders Deal in the Works

>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: Latest Development: IRA Charitable Rollover Deal is Still Tentative
>> Federal: Updated Election Results
>> Federal: House Ways and Means Committee
>> Federal: Senate Finance Committee
>> Consider This: Big Picture
>> Bonus Consider This: Pardon Me
>> Top Reads: ACR Signs Letter Calling for Charity-Related Provisions to be Made Permanent

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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

1991: Campaign Against Tobacco Use

Each year more than 440,000 Americans die of tobacco use—the nation’s largest cause of preventable death, accounting for about one out of every five U.S. deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control. About two-thirds of smokers say they want to quit, but only about 5 percent succeed in a given year. In 1990, the new president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Steven Schroeder, aimed his organization squarely at reducing “the harmful effects, and the irresponsible use, of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.”

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Federal | Federal Legislation

ACR Signs Letter Calling for Charity-Related Provisions to be Made Permanent

The Alliance for Charitable Reform has signed onto an open letter to Congress written by Independent Sector urging lawmakers to “make permanent the provisions in the America Gives More Act (H.R. 4719) before the end of 2014.”

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Good Giving | Success Stories

Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

2012: Speeding Safe Shale-gas Production

In 2012, two major philanthropists—oil-and-gas pioneer George Mitchell and Wall Street entrepreneur Michael Bloomberg—announced a joint effort by their foundations to encourage safe and efficient production of natural gas via shale fracking. They proposed to head off problems through “common-sense” state rules and voluntary adoption of best practices by the industry. The two foundations put up millions of dollars for efforts to improve fracking by minimizing water concerns, reducing methane leaks, optimizing well construction, disclosing chemical usage, and reducing local impacts on roads, land, and communities.

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ACR News 11.14.14 - The Election: What Happened and What Does It Mean?

>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: The Balance of Congress & Leadership Changes
>> Federal: Senate Finance Committee
>> Federal: House Ways & Means Committee
>> Federal: Lame Duck
>> Federal: What the Election Means for Tax Reform
>> Federal: Key Dates
>> Federal: ACR in Action
>> Consider This: Consider This: What Does it Mean?
>> Top Reads: GOP’s Senate Wins Boost Prospects of Tax Changes for Nonprofits

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