July 22, 2011

Bill is good for donor-advised funds

Author National Philanthropic Trust

Last week, Congressmen Wally Herger and Earl Blumenauer introduced an important bill in the House of Representatives. It’s called the Public Good IRA Rollover Act of 2011 (HR2502).  This legislation, along with its companion in the Senate (S557), proposes to amend the Internal Revenue Code and permanently allow donors to make tax-free charitable gifts from their individual retirement accounts to charity. In addition, it would allow, for the first time, tax-free charitable gifts to donor-advised funds, supporting organizations and private foundations. It also proposes to lift the $100,000 cap on these distributions and allow split-interest gifts at age 59.

As you may know, similar legislation was introduced in the 111th Congress. Eventually, it died in the Ways and Means Committe, but it helped to extend IRA rollover provisions through the end of this year. I believe that this new bill will provide current donors greater certainty for prudent charitable giving and ensure an efficient means of giving for future donors. It will also encourage additional giving, particularly among middle-income Americans.

If you feel the same way, please contact your representatives and urge them to co-sponsor this bill. For more information, you can read the issue paper that was created by the Council of Foundations. You can also take advantage of the editable draft letter that’s available on the COF website in their Legislative Action Center.