Tag Archives: payout rate

A Closer Look at One Donor-Advised Fund’s Questionable Pay-out Numbers

[Note: This post was co-published on July 20, 2015 in Inside Philanthropy.]

It’s one thing for organizations to spin information in a way that puts them in the best possible light. But the recent effort by Fidelity Charitable to overstate the rate of its annual grantmaking seems to be intentionally misleading. Fidelity arrives at its number through an accounting sleight of hand that demands deconstruction and rebuffing. Continue reading

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Donor-Advised Fund Reform?

A November 21, 2011 op-ed in the New York Times by Boston College law professor Ray D. Madoff raises some good points.

We all know that donors receive federal tax deductions when they give to a 501(c)(3) public charity. That nonprofit can be a soup kitchen, or a symphony, or a major educational institution. We could argue (and I often do) that the gift to the soup kitchen should be worth more (from a tax policy standpoint) than a gift to a cultural or educational institution, no matter how worthy those other institutions are, because the gift to help hungry people more clearly meets the original intent of the charitable tax deduction – to lessen the burden of government. But let’s not get into that now.

So what’s a donor-advised fund, how does it fit in, and why does Professor Madoff raise concerns? Continue reading

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