September 23, 2019

Catholic Law Professor Roger Colinvaux and Boston College Law Professor Ray D. Madoff authored an op-ed, which was published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The article discusses a way to make Donor-Advised Funds (DAF) work better for both the donors and the charities receiving the donations. 

A Donor-Advised Fund Proposal That Would Work for Everyone
By Roger Colinvaux and Ray D. Madoff

September 23

More than $110 billion that Americans have earmarked for charity are now housed in donor-advised funds. DAFs are a fundraising phenomenon that make it easy to set aside dollars for good causes and get significant tax benefits right away.

But while the dollars are flooding into DAFs, too few dollars are coming out. That is because the legal framework governing these funds is out of sync with the way tax incentives are supposed to work. The reason for tax incentives is to get people to take an action deemed good for society, in this case, to make funds available so that charities can use them in support of their mission. But with donor-advised funds, the system is backwards: the federal government provides donors huge tax subsidies upfront, handing them out when the donor sets up a fund or augments it, but there is no incentive to actually give the money away.
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Click here to view the op-ed.