Saturday, January 5, 2013

One Conversation Complete, Many More to Come

Posted by Andrew Watt, FInstF

Happy New Year!

I've talked previously - both on this blog and in The Chronicle of Philanthropy - about the debate for the charitable deduction being just the first conversation in a larger discussion about reinventing philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world.

I suppose you can say we “won” the first round of the battle, in the sense that the charitable deduction was spared in the fiscal cliff bill. Not only was the deduction kept nearly entirely intact, but the IRA Rollover provision was included, another important giving incentive that can result in billions of dollars given to charity.

But to use words like “battle” and “won” mischaracterizes what our aim should be. We’re not here to pit one side against another. That’s what’s hurting us right now—too many different ideas and groups not working together, even if they have similar goals. What our sector needs to do is bring all sides together—government, the business sector, philanthropists, and other—to talk about how to marshal even greater resources to meet the problems of today.

Philanthropy generates an extraordinary amount of giving and volunteering—more than $300 billion in gifts and 16 billion hours in the U.S. alone. But all that money and time is meaningless if it’s not coordinated and strengthened by investments from government, business and other parties at the same time. And that’s the conversation we need to have: how to massively increase and mobilize ALL of our resources—what the philanthropic sector can do, what business can do, etc., and more importantly, how we do it all TOGETHER.

We have a unique moment in 2013. With talk of serious tax reform already occurring here early in the year, it is quite likely the charitable deduction will be on the table again for Congressional consideration. Let’s take this opportunity to move the discussion to a higher level. Now is the time, and it’s clear the White House gets it.

Let’s look beyond talk of tax reform to a consideration of big ideas: comprehensive proposals and radical initiatives to reignite philanthropy and rebuild our communities around the world.

3 comments:

ira said...
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Usha Menon said...

Hope 2013 is off to a fabulous start. All best for the year ahead Andrew and fundraisers the world over.

I agree with your point. When one hears figures like US$200 Billion is spent each year on Cancer research alone, and I reckon this story is repeated with many other causes, the need for collaboration and making our resources work harder globally, become more urgent and important.

Also I wanted to introduce you to my blog on Asian Insights where I focus on Philanthropy and Fundraising in this corner of the world.
www.ushamenonasia/blog Let me know what you think.

As I organise my topics for this year, do let me know if there are any specific areas that will be of interest to know about Asia.

Cheers

Usha

Usha Menon
www.ushamenonasia.com

Anonymous said...

thanks for share...

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