CalNonprofits Articles

Urgent signsThe furor over Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) isn't new, and you've probably seen some of these recent stories: 

  • "Google’s Larry Page Gave $400 Million In Christmas Donations. Not A Penny Went Straight to Charity.” [Vox]
  • "How Tech Billionaires Hack Their Taxes with a Philanthropic Loophole" [New York Times]
  • This December 2 video from political comedian Hasan Minaj (he talks about philanthropy and DAFs starting around 4:30)

What is new is that CalNonprofits, with our partners NextGen and philanthropist/banker Kat Taylor, is taking careful steps to bring some transparency to large DAFs with AB 1712, and we need your help to get it passed! Please take 2 minutes to sign on to the support letter.

Nationally, there are increasingly loud calls for some kind of regulation of donor-advised funds. Here in California, we are taking a more measured step: calling for transparency. Right now, activity in DAFs is almost entirely hidden. With a little sunshine, we would be able to see whether additional regulation is needed, and if so, in what specific ways. 

We need your nonprofit or foundation to sign onto the support letter by noon this Wednesday (1/8/20). You will be joining nearly 100 other supporting organizations such as:

  • Women's Foundation of California: "AB 1712 will help policymakers and members of the public analyze how much charitable benefits DAFs produce and understand what entities manage them and how they are managed."
  • United Way of California: "As philanthropic organizations [ourselves] raising and distributing funds . . . we know there is a need for thoughtful regulation in assuring good stewardship of charitable funds."

Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, the author of the bill, said: “I introduced AB 1712 because we must ensure that tax incentives meant to encourage charitable contributions are being used as they were intended: to directly benefit the people and causes of service providers. They should not be used as a vehicle to benefit a few wealthy individuals while depriving the general public of the benefits that result from direct gifts to charitable service providers."

Sign on now and make your voice heard to legislators: We, and our communities, need a window onto donor-advised funds!

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