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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

Saving Fisheries Through Catch Sharing

Concerned about the decline of the world’s fish population and the abysmal failures of existing government interventions to solve the problem, Barrett Walker decided to use market-based techniques and funding from his family’s Walker Foundation to attack the problem. He started a chain reaction of philanthropy that in less than ten years transformed solutions to overfishing.

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ACR News 05.30.14—Mixed Messages

>> Federal: ACR in the News
>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: Ways and Means Committee Markup
>> Federal: ACR Webinar
>> Consider This: Mixed Messages
>> Top Reads: Charities adopt bunker mentality on taxes

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(VIDEO) ACR Webinar Focuses on Donor-Advised Funds

The rising popularity of donor-advised funds (DAFs) has caught the attention of the nonprofit community and congressional leaders. Despite their popularity, however, DAFs are still widely misunderstood, particularly by those outside of the charitable sector and by policymakers. For these and other reasons, the Alliance for Charitable Reform conducted its most recent webinar on May 28 entitled The Increased Popularity – and Scrutiny – of Donor-Advised Funds.

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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

Marcus Autism Center

Bernie Marcus Autism CenterIn the early 1990s, an employee in an Atlanta Home Depot outlet had been missing work, then showing up sleepless and unkempt. Company co-founder Bernie Marcus took her aside and asked what was wrong. “Her child had this strange—well, I guess we called it a disability at first,” says Marcus. “Nobody knew what it was. The child was not communicating. He would scream in pain and nobody knew why. Doctors didn’t have the patience to work with him…. That’s when I first saw how autism destroys families.”

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ACR News 05.16.14—Tax Extenders a Bridge to Nowhere?

>> Federal: Tax Extenders Crawl Forward
>> Federal: Permanent IRA Rollover Bill Introduced in House
>> Federal: ACR and the Camp Draft
>> Consider This: A Bridge to Nowhere?
>> Top Reads: The 5 Most and Least Charitable States

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Major Achievements of American Philanthropy

Nature, Animals, and Parks

Many of America’s most iconic natural attractions are the products of philanthropy. Hundreds of national parks, urban green spaces, zoos and aquariums, public waterways and shorelines, wildlife and pet protections, gardens and arboretums have been created or bolstered by private givers. The first major patrons of nature giving in this country were John Rockefeller Jr. and then his son, Laurance. Their focused, timely support established or enlarged national parks like Grand Teton, Great Smoky Mountains, Virgin Islands, Yosemite, Big Bend, Rocky Mountain, Acadia, Olympic, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Haleakala, Redwood, Lassen Volcanic, Mesa Verde, and Shenandoah, as well as Antietam, Big Hole, Fort Donelson, and other battlefield parks, various state parks, the Marsh-Billings farm, the Blue Ridge Parkway, numerous historic sites and monuments, and local parks. But smaller donors and many grassroots voluntary philanthropic efforts have been even more important, helping save creatures like the peregrine falcon, swift fox, wild turkey, wolf, bluebird, and numerous fish, creating outdoor oases for everyday citizens to enjoy, conserving rare trees and plants, uncovering fresh solutions to ecological dilemmas, even pushing the boundaries of natural science through private support for physics and biological research. Donated money flows to these causes today at rates higher than ever before. The Environmental Grantmakers Association is able to identify billions of dollars of annual funding by U.S. donors.

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ACR Blog: Maine Partially Removes Cap on Charitable Contributions

Philanthropists, foundations, and other charitable organizations continue to fight against harmful legislation that curtails private charitable giving. Hawaii, North Carolina, Missouri, Montana, and Kansas are just a handful of states who have acted within the last year to pass legislation that would positively impact charitable giving. For example, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a bill last July that eliminated a cap on charitable deductions that had been in place for two years. Maine is the most recent state to take action.

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ACR News 05.02.14—Tax Extenders, ACR Webinar, Simon Prize

>> Federal: Inching Towards a Tax Showdown
>> Federal: ACR Webinar
>> Federal: Jon Huntsman Sr. Recipient of 2014 William E. Simon Prize
>> Top Reads: Race is on to restore tax breaks

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ACR Webinar: Economic Impact of Nonprofit Sector

The Alliance for Charitable Reform conducted the second in a series of webinars on Tuesday, April 29. This most recent webinar focused on the economic impact of the nonprofit sector. Our first webinar, conducted on March 18, focused on Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp’s (R-MI) tax reform discussion draft. These webinars allow participants from all over the country to hear and view presentations from leaders in the charitable sector. Participants are also invited to ask questions.

We are making publicly available the economic impact webinar in its entirety. While not every webinar may be made public, invitations are sent to those who have signed up for the ACR newsletter. The next ACR webinar is tentatively scheduled for June and will discuss donor-advised funds.

Camp Proposal and Charitable Giving

By Robert Sharpe

In late February 2014, Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) put forth what’s been described as the most serious tax reform proposal (the Camp proposal) since the historic Tax Reform Act of 1986 (the 1986 Act). The Camp proposal represents the result of many months of study and hearings with representatives of many of the United States’ economic sectors and includes provisions drawn from both Democratic and Republican suggestions for tax reform and simplification.

While few observers believe that this proposal will become law in its current form, many think that it may, in fact, serve as a blueprint for future tax reform discussions.

Let’s explore ways in which this proposed legislation would impact charitable tax incentives, as we begin to contemplate its impact on income and estate tax planning.

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