SC Grantmakers Participate in Foundations on the Hill
The Self Family Foundation, Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina and The Duke Endowment participated in Foundations on the Hill, sponsored by the Council on Foundations, March 24-25, 2009. These three South Carolina Grantmakers Network members met with staff for Congressmen Clyburn, Spratt and Wilson and Senators DeMint and Graham.
The members asked that—especially with increasing demands on nonprofits—public policy support charitable giving. Specifically, requesting that current law is maintained on charitable deduction rates with respect to itemized deductions for charitable contributions. At this time nonprofits are faced with increasing demands and it is important for public policy to support and encourage charitable giving.
It is important for Congress to extend the IRA charitable rollover beyond 2009 and make gifts to donor-advised funds, supporting organizations and private foundations eligible for the incentive. Currently through the IRA charitable rollover, taxpayers 70-and-a-half or older can make tax-free distributions up to $100,000 from their IRA to a charitable organization.
It was also requested that representatives sign on as a co-sponsor of the Public Good IRA Charitable Rollover Act of 2009. On March 2, 2009, Representatives Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Wally Herger (R-CA) introduced the Public Good IRA Rollover Act of 2009 (H.R. 1250) in the House of Representatives. If passed, this legislation would make the charitable rollover incentive permanent, removes the $100,000 cap on distributions, allows planned gifts beginning at age 59-and-a-half and allows taxpayers who make IRA distributions to donor-advised funds, supporting organizations and private foundations eligible for the incentive.
The team representing South Carolina grantmakers, additionally, asked for support in legislation to simplify the management of the excise tax that will provide foundations with additional grantmaking resources. A flat, revenue neutral, excise tax encourages greater payouts by eliminating the tax penalty that currently follows a generous year of giving within a five year cycle. Moreover, grantmakers would like to see this tax go to oversee foundations, the reason the excise tax was initially created.
Lastly, a request was made for South Carolina representatives to join the Philanthropy Caucus. The Philanthropy Caucus informs members of Congress about philanthropy and the work of foundations, facilitates communication between Congress and the grantmaking community and works to highlight public policies of mutual interest to Congress and grantmakers. After last year’s Congressional visits through Foundations on the Hill, both Representative Joe Wilson (R 02) and Representative Bob Inglis (R 04) joined the Philanthropy Caucus.