• February 1, 2015

Taxes and Philanthropy: Two Donors Share Their Ideas

Wednesday, March 24, at noon, U.S. Eastern time

Does the complicated U.S. tax system encourage or stifle giving?

Some philanthropists believe the system is set up to unfairly benefit the rich at the expense of the poor -- and that changes to the system will produce greater equity and provide better incentives to wealthy people who want to contribute to charity.

Is this the case? If so, what changes should be made to the tax system to reduce poverty?

Join The Chronicle and Bolder Giving, an organization that works to encourage philanthropists to give more generously, for a live discussion with two donors who are working to answer these questions.

Chuck Collins is a philanthropist who has worked with high-level donors such as Bill Gates Sr. to advocate for the preservation of the estate tax. Mr. Collins is now working with fellow donor Alison Goldberg on a campaign that aims to make sure the current Tea Party tax movement doesn't stifle debate about other types of tax reform.

Mr. Collins and Ms. Goldberg will take questions on this topic on Wednesday, March 24, at noon Eastern time. 

You can join the conversation by clicking on the window below or read the archived version after the discussion ends.

The event is part of a series of live online discussions with some of the nation's most interesting philanthropists organized by The Chronicle and Bolder Giving.

Participants are also invited to join a live teleconference with Ms. Goldberg and Mr. Collins on Thursday, March 25.


1. ppcllc - March 15, 2010 at 03:19 pm

Goldberg's and Collins' perspective on the tax system is no more valid, relevant or useful than yours or mine.

2. bill__huddleston - March 24, 2010 at 04:00 pm

While the 12:10 comment by Ms. Goldberg "Tax policy has the ability to decrease dollars available to our sector" is certainly true, (and I favor a progressive tax system), tax policy also has the ability to increase dollars available to the sector.

One country where workplace giving has had a resurgenc is in Austrailia, where they changed their tax laws in 2002 to make it easier for individuals and companies to donate throught workplace giving. One of the substance changes was that they allow employee donors to use "pre-tax" dollars to donate to the Austrailian charities, just as American employees can use pre-tax dollars to fund 401Ks or Health care accounts.

This explanation is from one of the Austrialian charities:

What is Workplace Giving?
In 2002 changes made to the Taxation law relating to charities have made it even easier for you to make a regular donation direct from your pay.

Workplace Giving enables employees to make regular charitable donations from their pre-tax, resulting in an automatic tax reduction.

You do not have to worry about keeping your receipts and you don't have to wait until the end of the financial year to obtain a tax benefit - your employer deducts your donation amount from your salary before deducting your tax so the benefit to you is immediate.

So a $20.00 pre-tax donation costs an employee only $13.50 after the automatic tax deduction, but SVI receives the full $20.00 (assuming the employee is on the marginal tax rate of 32.5%).

Pushing for a similar changes to the US tax code could result in significant increases in workplace giving funds.

Bill Huddleston
The CFC Coach

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