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IRA Charitable Rollover Provision in H.R. 1424

Media Statement by Steve Gunderson, President and CEO, Council on Foundations
Council on Foundations, Arlington, VA

The action by the House and Senate in passage of the Financial Rescue Package (HR. 1424) is an important step in bringing stability to the nation’s overall financial system. At this time, the philanthropic sector faces the dual challenges of communities in need of greater support while our respective endowments are feeling the same negative impact hitting the rest of society.

This legislation includes the extension of the IRA charitable rollover provision through 2009. Created in the 2006 Pension Protection Act, the charitable rollover produced more than $130 million in charitable gifts in 2006 and 2007.

The Council has been working for some time to expand the charitable rollover to include contributions to donor-advised funds, supporting organizations and private foundations. In fact, a recent study by the Council of 137 community foundations finds that 60 percent of the value of their grant-making comes from donor-advised funds. Thus, as Congress seeks to respond to the needs of communities, it is important that we continue to expand the opportunities for donor-advised funds to contribute to this same important work. In an election year, we do not expect any major legislative reforms or corrections beyond the basic extension of existing provisions. However, we will continue to work with Congress to make these changes a priority in 2009.