ACR Summit for Leaders
March 18, 2015
8:00 - 10:50 a.m.
Breakfast available at 7:30 a.m.
Washington Court Hotel
525 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20001
In 2014, we saw the release of a 1000-page tax reform draft, a new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and an election that shifted the balance of power in Congress. What can we expect in 2015? With new chairmen for both the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees– former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT respectively – we expect next year to be another significant year for tax policy.
With so many tax issues still to be debated, nothing is completely on or off the table. Given the new political landscape, now is not the time for the philanthropic community to stay on the sidelines. We hope you will join us at the 2015 ACR Summit for Leaders to learn about what we can do to protect private giving and educate lawmakers about the critical role of charitable organizations in a free society.
Registration: To register for the ACR Summit as well as other events of Philanthropy Week in Washington, click here.
What’s My Line?
As we anticipate another round of tax reform efforts on the Hill, we’ll have a bit of fun with messaging around the charitable deduction while still conveying the critical importance of communicating to Congress that this part of our tax code must be protected. In this session four speakers will deliver four different messages about the charitable deduction and audience members will vote for the most persuasive message. The presenters and moderator are all members of the Charitable Giving Coalition, which has provided a unique and unified voice on Capitol Hill on issues affecting the charitable deduction since 2009.
- Andy Finch, Director of Policy, Association of Art Museum Directors
- Gloria Johnson-Cusack, Executive Director, Leadership 18
- Sue Santa, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs, Council on Foundations
- Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President and Counsel for Public Policy, United Way Worldwide
- Tim Delaney, President and CEO, National Council of Nonprofits (moderator)
2015 ushered in the first Republican Congressional majority in eight years as well as two new Chairmen for the tax-writing committees. Both Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) have expressed strong interest in undertaking comprehensive tax reform this year, and indeed their committees have already taken up tax legislation impacting the philanthropic community. We will hear an “insiders” perspective from Congressional staff on what lies ahead and how our sector can inform the debate.
- Congressional Staff, TBD
- Sandra Swirski, Executive Director, Alliance for Charitable Reform (moderator)
The Congressional panel will be off the record.
The Dating Game
Sharing our stories with policymakers often means talking about place-based philanthropy – that special relationship between grantmakers and communities. Sometimes the focus is on the place a donor once – or still – calls home. Other times, the special place is a neighborhood, a town, a state, a region, even a country, where a particular challenge resonates with one’s philanthropic mission. In this session speakers representing individual donors, a community foundation, and a private foundation will present their stories of place-based philanthropy and discuss how those stories can build strong and sustained relationships with federal, state, and local public officials.
- Barbara Harman, President and Editor, Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington
- Thomas Riley, Vice President for Strategy, Connelly Foundation
- Jennifer Leonard, President and CEO, Rochester Area Community Foundation
Joanne Florino, Senior Vice President for Public Policy, The Philanthropy Roundtable (moderator)
2008: Cause-oriented Journalism
Take one scoop of donors looking for new ways to affect public opinion and government policy, mix with three scoops of mainstream journalism bleeding red ink in the face of new Internet-based competition, and you get a layer-cake of donor-funded reporting operations. The granddaddy of these creations is ProPublica, founded by hyperactive liberal donors Herb and Marion Sandler to be a twenty-first-century muckraker, with a special focus on topics like gun control, civil rights, health care, fracking, campaign finance limits, labor laws, the Gulf oil spill, Guantanamo, and other policy hot buttons.
On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee marked up and approved a package of bills making permanent several expired tax provisions, including the IRA charitable rollover, the deduction for gifts of food inventory, and the deduction for conservation easements. The committee also approved legislation sponsored by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Danny Davis (D-IL) that would streamline the private foundation excise tax to one percent – a provision ACR has promoted for several years. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) indicated last week that the House could vote on all of these bills the week of February 9, but a final decision will not be made until next week. We are very pleased and will update you as the bill moves forward on the House floor.
Exempts Some Charitable Giving From Increased Taxes But Still Recommends Cap
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Alliance for Charitable Reform (ACR) issued the following statement upon the release of President Barack Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2016.
“The charitable community is receiving mixed signals from the White House about charitable giving,” Sandra Swirski, executive director of ACR, said.
1853: Connecting Orphans to Families
Charles Loring Brace was emphatic that the thousands of miserable homeless children roaming the streets of nineteenth-century New York had the “same capacities” and the same importance “as the little ones in our own homes.” That was an essential part of his Christian creed. But Brace also believed that “habits of life and the inner forces which form character” ultimately drive success and happiness, so it is important for unformed children to be given both love and good examples. He didn’t like traditional orphanages, which he thought fostered passivity and dependence, so in 1853 Brace founded the Children’s Aid Society and began helping boys and girls leave the streets and enter lodging houses that required small payments from the children to remind them of their capacity to support themselves. The society offered workshops and industrial schools that taught trade skills.
ACR Among the Coalition Members to Sign, Send Letter
The Alliance for Charitable Reform joined in sending a letter from the Charitable Giving Coalition to newly-elected members of Congress urging them to protect the full value and scope of the charitable deduction as budget and tax-related legislative items are considered. See the full text of the letter below.
2000: Paying for Lynx Habitat at Loomis Forest
The Canada lynx was added to the U.S. endangered species list in 2000. One of the five areas of “critical habitat” for the animal was Loomis State Forest in Washington, where up to half of the cats in that state were thought to live. Most of that forest was trust land managed by the state, with the proceeds from timber sales going to schools to pay for the education of local children. In 1998 the state of Washington offered to end timber sales on the land if conservationists could raise sufficient funds—within one year—to compensate the schools for loss of this lumbering revenue. A local campaign was launched to raise $13 million in donations from private individuals and foundations.