Philanthropic leaders urge Biden to unlock $200 billion for nonprofits

Philanthropic leaders urge Biden to unlock $200 billion for nonprofits

coalition of foundation and nonprofit leaders has sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden's transition team, urging it to add an emergency charity stimulus to the incoming administration's "First 100 Days" agenda.

Organized by the Institute for Policy StudiesPatriotic Millionaires, and the Wallace Global Fund, the coalition has been calling on Congress since May to temporarily double the mandatory payout rate for private foundations to 10 percent and mandate a 10 percent payout for donor-advised funds (DAFs) — which, it argues, would unlock an estimated $200 billion in funding for charities impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The proposal has been endorsed by more than five hundred and fifty philanthropists and foundation leaders and several thousand nonprofits.

"As Congress works to come to agreement on the size of a new COVID relief package, a straightforward proposal can send $200 billion over the next three years to struggling nonprofits at no cost at all to taxpayers and the Treasury," the letter from Wallace Global Fund board co-chair Scott Wallace; Patriotic Millionaires advisory board members Alan S. Davis, Morris Pearl, Stephen Prince; and Chuck Collins, director of the Charity Reform Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies states. "This far exceeds new donations that might be incentivized through the above-the-line charitable deductions included in the CARES Act or now proposed by Leader McConnell; the money will come from funds stockpiled by donors who have already taken tax deductions," the letter notes. 

"During the COVID-19 crisis, many foundations and donor-advised funds have voluntarily increased their payout. But we need to ensure that charitable giving doesn't fall off a cliff in 2021 and 2022," the letter continues. "Congress should mandate an increased payout like what we propose to move charitable funds off the sidelines and to the front lines. And such a proposal would have broad popular support: an Ipsos poll showed 72 percent of Americans support an emergency charity stimulus."

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"Opportunity to provide $200 billion in relief to U.S. nonprofits at no cost to taxpayers." Emergency Charity Stimulus memo 12/09/2020. "Opportunity to provide $200 billion in relief to U.S. nonprofits at no cost to taxpayers." Emergency Charity Stimulus press release 12/09/2020.