On June 9, 2021, Senators King (I-ME) and Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Accelerating Charitable Efforts (ACE) Act. The bill modifies existing rules relating to donor advised funds (“DAFs”), creates an excise tax on sponsoring organizations, and makes certain changes to the rules governing private foundations.
The Council on Foundations opposes the ACE Act because, in its current form, the Act would decelerate the expansion of charitable giving in the United States by:
- Adding complexity and costs for foundations and donors; and
- Making it harder for philanthropy to address emerging and long-term challenges.
Strengthening philanthropic practices and further incentivizing charitable giving are critically important issues—which is why we need to get them right without incurring unintended consequences.
The Council would support legislation that:
- Expands the overall philanthropic giving environment;
- Allows philanthropy to meet both near-term and long-term societal challenges; and
- Aims to deliver more to those in need.
The ACE Act oversimplifies the challenges facing nonprofits and communities in need and assumes regulations on philanthropic organizations will solve the complex issues we face as a nation, such as wealth inequality.
Legislation aimed at increasing the flow of philanthropic resources to nonprofits requires a thoughtful and inclusive process to avoid some of the unintended negative consequences we see in the ACE Act. This is why the Council has initiated a number of formal and informal conversations to solicit the views and input of a wide group of stakeholders, including through our Strengthening Community Philanthropy Working Group, Public Policy Advisory Committee and Board of Directors.
The Strengthening Community Philanthropy Ad Hoc Working Group comprises credible and diverse community foundation leaders from across the nation who will develop a set of principles and a proposal that will strengthen community foundations and donor-advised funds (DAFs) to share with lawmakers and the field.
We will continue working with policymakers to ensure they understand how philanthropy can best help to address these challenges, and we will engage a diverse set of stakeholders to explore alternative options that increase trust in philanthropy and maximize the impact of nonprofit organizations.