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BLOG: Post-Election Analysis

A lot happened as a result of Tuesday’s elections and we are here to help you sort through it all. Below is a brief analysis of the election results and a glimpse at what we can expect in the makeup of congressional leadership as well as the tax writing committees.

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BLOG: ACR Expertise Highlighted in Coverage of Elections

A couple of articles published and circulated Wednesday by the Chronicle of Philanthropy featured comments from staff and a member of the Alliance for Charitable Reform regarding the results of Tuesday’s elections. The Chronicle interviewed several nonprofit leaders, including ACR Executive Director Sandra Swirski, for an article analyzing the prospects of tax reform with Republicans taking control of the Senate and expanding its membership in the House of Representatives.

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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

1909 Milton Hershey School


Chocolatier Milton Hershey didn’t invent the candy bar, but he was the first to transform it from expensive delicacy to treat affordable by all, and in the process he became very wealthy. He and his sickly wife, Kitty, were unable to have children, so they decided to give their sweet fortune to orphans and other needy boys living in hardscrabble—something Milton understood well, after a peripatetic childhood and education that ended at fourth grade, due to a father who left his family for long periods of time. In 1909, Hershey signed over to his new Hershey Industrial School, a fully operating 486-acre farm that included the homestead where he had been born. In 1918 he went much further, placing all of his shares in the Hershey Chocolate Company in a trust whose sole purpose was to benefit the school. He kept the transfer secret until it was revealed in a 1923 interview with the New York Times, when he explained that “I have no heirs, so I have decided to make the orphan boys of the United States my heirs.” To this day, the school retains controlling interest in the Fortune 500 Hershey Company, the Hershey park entertainment complex, and other businesses.

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ACR News 10.31.14—Lincoln’s Ghost…and a Policy Update

>> Federal: Lincoln’s Ghost
>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: ACR Advisory Council on the Hill
>> Federal: How Philanthropy Changed My Life
>> Consider This: Consider This: Tax Reform Following the Midterms
>> Top Reads: Donor-Advised Fund Spend-Down Proviso May Be Cut From Future Tax Overhaul Drafts


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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

2002 - Boosting Electronic Health Records

PAW22
Electronic health records that are consistent, interchangeable, and accessible by consumers and health professionals from anywhere will be essential to many future advances in health care, including medicine that is personalized to the patient, better quality control, and reduction of duplication and waste that inflates prices. It’s estimated that electronic health records could save more than $100 billion in unnecessary medical costs.

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Donor-Advised Fund Spend-Down Proviso May Be Cut From Future Tax Overhaul Drafts

By Diane Freda, Bloomberg BNA

Reproduced with permission from Daily Tax Report, 204 DTR G-7 (Oct. 22, 2014). Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)

Oct 21 - A five-year spend-down requirement for donor-advised funds might be eliminated in future drafts of the Tax Reform Act of 2014, a House Ways and Means senior staff member said.

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ACR News 10.17.14—Wyden, Hatch, and Boehner Comment on Tax Reform

>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: Annual Meeting Completed
>> Consider This: Powerful Imagery
>> Top Reads: Give to Charity Like Bill Gates…Without Being Bill Gates


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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

1997 - Violence-Free Zones

Philadelphia memorial

In the 1980s, Sister Falakah Fattah and her husband, David, used the House of Umoja, a neighborhood group they founded, to help Philadelphia’s gangs negotiate truces and reduce violence. Robert Woodson of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE), an “intermediary” that helps local nonprofits, documented the principles involved and prepared manuals, training programs, and other resources that could be used to set up similar “violence-free zones” in other strife-torn neighborhoods. The key to the system is to find young adults who grew up locally and overcame the same challenges that still face students in troubled neighborhoods. CNE puts these “youth advisers” through background checks (no youth or sexual crimes) and drug, alcohol, and health testing, then trains them in identifying, mediating, and solving various types of conflicts. Once trained, the advisors are hired by local nonprofits and spend their days at schools focusing on the most troublesome students. The same students who lead disruption can, with coaching by advisors they respect, learn to turn their leadership skills in more productive directions.

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ACR News 10.03.14—The Fight for the Ways and Means Gavel

>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: Fight for Ways and Means Gavel Continues
>> Federal: Letter to Ryan
>> Federal: Previewing the 2014 Annual Meeting of The Philanthropy Roundtable
>> Federal: The Effects of a 100 Percent Charitable Deduction
>> Federal: TPC Field Seminar Series
>> Top Reads: Tax breaks worth billions set to expire unless Congress acts


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ACR Blog: (VIDEO) The Effects of a 100 Percent Charitable Deduction


In the August 22 edition of the ACR newsletter, we shared a story about Puerto Rico adopting a 100 percent charitable deduction in 2011. The deduction led to a 70 percent increase in the number of individuals who made charitable donations in Puerto Rico, according to a report released by the Flamboyan Foundation.

The Flamboyan Foundation is a private, family foundation focused on improving educational outcomes for children in public schools in Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, according to its website. The Alliance for Charitable Reform recently interviewed Kristin Ehrgood, president of the Flamboyan Foundation, about the implementation of the tax deduction, the results of the Flamboyan Foundation’s study, and how studying donor behavior could help expand charitable giving in Puerto Rico.

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