ACR Summit for Leaders
Featured programming of Foundations on the Hill 2013
March 19, 2013
1221 22nd Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
2012 was like no other year for the charitable community. The sector faced the most significant threats to charitable giving in recent memory. Working together, coalitions of charities and donors successfully preserved the charitable deduction and gave a powerful voice to our community.
But the battle is not over. With the debt ceiling limit fast approaching, delayed spending cuts, talk of more tax increases, and funding for the government running out, Washington is gearing up for an even greater fight over the next few months. Talk of tax reform continues and every incentive will be on the table—including the charitable deduction. It is critical that our voices continue to be heard.
The ACR Summit for Leaders provided an insider’s look at the political landscape for 2013 and told attendees what they needed to know as a member of the philanthropic sector. Focusing on the charitable deduction, legal experts examined its unique nature and why it should be treated differently in the tax code. We surveyed troubling issues flying under the radar in states and learned how to address them. Finally policy experts revealed advanced strategies for donors and charitable organizations to effectively educate lawmakers about the benefits of the charitable community in solving our nation’s problems.
This event welcomed foundation executives, nonprofit leaders, and others interested in public policy.
ACR Summit Agenda:
8:00–9:30 a.m. Welcome and Congressional Panel
With tax reform on the horizon, and the pressing need for deficit reduction, we expect 2013 to be a critical year for our sector. In this discussion, congressional staff provided an insider’s look at the legislative landscape on Capitol Hill for 2013 and what issues could impact the philanthropic community.
- Preston Rutledge, tax & benefits counsel for Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senate Finance Committee
- Tiffany Smith, tax counsel for Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Senate Finance Committee
- Steve Taylor, senior vice president and counsel for public policy, United Way Worldwide (moderator)
9:30–9:40 a.m. Hot State Issues
State and local governments are under increased budget pressure exacerbated by recent, and likely further, federal spending cuts. In many cases, states are curtailing tax breaks to raise more revenue, raising tax rates and fees, and are cutting their own spending. This panel identified some of these trends.
- Pat Read, principal, Pat Read Consulting
9:40–9:50 a.m. Paradigm Shift: What Is the Purpose of the Charitable Deduction?
The charitable deduction has become a top revenue target in Washington because its policy justification has been forgotten. Alex Reid, formerly of the Joint Committee on Taxation, discussed the legal and policy underpinnings of the charitable deduction, and why it should be taken off the table as a source of government revenue.
- Alexander Reid, of counsel, Morgan Lewis (former staff member for Joint Committee on Taxation)
10:00–11:00 a.m. Lessons Learned from the Fiscal Cliff
Even though Congress narrowly averted the fiscal cliff just a few months ago, the first half of this year is peppered with more federal budget deadlines. In December, we met with more than 125 lawmakers, along with other leaders of the Charitable Giving Coalition, to relay our message on the value of charitable giving incentives to policymakers. By explaining why our sector is different and the charitable deduction is unique, we kept direct cuts, caps, and limits to the charitable deduction at bay. We also utilized a successful multi-pronged media strategy to strengthen our message to lawmakers back home and in communities across the country.
For the next round, the stakes are even higher and both sides have already dug in. Tax deductions and credits are attracting more and more attention. What lessons from the fiscal cliff debate can we use going forward to protect the charitable deduction? This panel explored all of these options.
- Steven Moore, executive director, M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust (introduction and remarks)
- Alison Hawkins, director of external affairs, The Philanthropy Roundtable
- Gloria Johnson-Cusack, executive director, Leadership 18
- Sandra Swirski, executive director, Alliance for Charitable Reform
- Sue Santa, senior vice president for public policy and legal affairs, Council on Foundations (moderator)
FOTH Agenda Snapshot:
Tuesday, March 19
8:00–11:00 a.m. ACR Summit for Leaders
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. FOTH Roundtable: The Importance of Philanthropy in Communities
12:00–1:00 p.m. Lunch and Delegation Strategy Meetings
1:00–5:00 p.m. Congressional Meetings and Federal Briefings
5:30–6:30 p.m. Reception co-sponsored by ACR, the Council on Foundations and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers
Wednesday, March 20
8:00–9:00 a.m. Breakfast and Delegation Debrief
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Congressional Meetings and Federal Briefings
Visit www.foundationsonthehill.org for a full FOTH agenda and to learn more.
The ACR Summit for Leaders was open to representatives of foundations and nonprofit organizations. Participation in FOTH is limited to IRS recognized foundations and corporate giving programs.