Highlights from the latest edition of the ACR newsletter:
ACR Blog Highlights
- What is Transparency and What Does it Mean for Philanthropic Organizations?
- Ways and Means Hearing on Nonprofits
- Process for Tax Reform
The Debt Ceiling, It’s Back..
Washington Examiner, December 14, 2011
In a Washington Examiner op-ed, Washington Legal Foundation expert Daniel Popeo reminds us that philanthropy flows from free enterprise. He challenges those from the charitable sector that are against free enterprise and support proposals that shift greater power to government.
New op-ed raises debate about donor intent and private foundation money
Recently Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, posted an op-ed in the Chronicle of Higher Education in defense of donor intent and philanthropic freedom - what we believe is the right of donors and foundations to give to the issues, causes and organizations they value in the manner they choose, consistent with the law. He highlighted recent efforts to curtain this freedom by some activist groups including AB 624.
He notes: “American higher education depends profoundly on philanthropy, and whatever threatens philanthropy threatens American higher education… [t]here is actually a more serious threat that was much in the news… the effort to force foundations to “greenline” their philanthropy.”
The Greenlining Institute responded yesterday with an op-ed arguing among other issues for greater foundation transparency and diversity.
Peter Wood continued the debate by responding to Greenlining’s comments.
We’ll continue to follow this debate and keep your posted.
For the full debate visit:
11/17 Generosity, Trussed - by Peter Wood, National Association of Scholars
12/7 The Greenlining Institute Responds to Peter Wood - by Orson Aguilar and Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute
12/7 Who Owns Philanthropy? - by Peter Wood, National Association of Scholars
New bill protects philanthropic freedom and encourages charitable giving in the sunshine state
On May 27, 2010, Governor Charlie Crist of Florida signed into law Senate Bill 998 which protects Florida foundations and the charities they support. ACR, along with a coalition of key legislators, foundations, philanthropic associations and policy organizations, advanced this legislation as part of a state-based strategy to protect donor intent and philanthropic freedom.
- Legislation: SB 998 text (see page 10, line 288)
- Summary of Legislation
- Press Release: ACR announces bill passage (June 1, 2010)
- Policy Brief: Philanthropy’s Future in the Sunshine State, James Madison Institute (December 2009)
- Point of View: Assault on Philanthropy, James Madison Institute (December 2009)
- Model Legislation: Text of Model State legislation to protect philanthropic freedom
- Summer 2010 President’s Note: Sunshine for Philanthropic Freedom, Philanthropy Magazine (Adam Meyerson)
- 7/11 Letter to the Editor: Florida’s New Foundation Law Protects Donor Intent, Chronicle of Philanthropy (Sue Santa)
- 6/11 Opinion: New FL Law Makes It Harder for Foundations to Live Up to Values, Chronicle of Philanthropy (Emmett Carson)
- 6/14 Opinion: FL Law Stands up for Charity, Washington Examiner (Adam Meyerson)
- 6/4 Florida Protects Philanthropic Freedom, Philanthropy Daily
- 6/1 Fla. Adopts Legislation to Protect Foundations’ Autonomy, Chronicle of Philanthropy
- June New Florida law, Resolutions Promote & Protect State’s Philanthropy, Florida Philanthropic Network
Adam Meyerson, president of The Philanthropy Roundtable, recently delivered a speech entitled “The Generosity of America” as part of a lecture series sponsored by Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.
Adam notes “Private charitable giving is at the heart and soul of public discourse in our democracy. It makes possible our great think tanks, whether left, right or center. Name a great issue of public debate today: climate change, the role of government in health care, school choice, stem cell research, same-sex marriage. On all these issues, private philanthropy enriches debate by enabling organizations with diverse viewpoints to articulate and spread their message.”
He cautions us though, warning “this freedom to give is now under serious threat… three kinds of proposals coming from Capitol Hill, the IRS, state governments, and sometimes from the charitable sector itself, that should be of concern to all Americans.”
The full article is available here.
A new report dismisses arguments to control philanthropy by government
Suzanne Garment (editor of The Philanthropy Roundtable’s recent monograph How Public is Private Philanthropy?) has joined with Leslie Lenkowsky (Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University) to take on arguments for greater government control of philanthropy in a newly released working paper of the Washington Legal Foundation.
John Tyler, Steve Johnson, and William Dietel continue the conversation
The conversation continues as John Tyler, co-author of the monograph, challenges the legal basis for proposals from both government and charitable groups to impose legal limits on the grantmaking and governance within foundations. While others in the philanthropic community weigh in with the common rebuttal that the real issue is how effective philanthropy is.
For the full conversation please read below.
ACR & coalition submit a petition to Senator Baucus
Today, a letter was sent by a coalition of organizations and foundations to Senator Max Baucus, the current chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Finance, to spare the charitable tax deduction. ACR joined this coalition with the aim of protecting the charitable deduction from future reductions as a policymakers look to it as a revenue raiser for expansions in government programs. The coalition includes the American Red Cross International, Council on Foundations and the United Way among others. We’ll keep you posted.
Sue Santa guest blogs on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Civic Leaders website about a recent study on the economic impact of changes to tax incentives for different types of charities.
Jul 20, 2009
Lawmakers hope to use foundations to close budget shortfalls in provision of services
A recent New York Times article reporting on a deal to close California’s $26 billion budget gap, highlights a disturbing trend of thought among lawmakers. While these Calirfornia lawmakers “hope” that foundations will pick up the slack from slashed funding to health and human service programs, may other take this a step further ?