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Critics Call for Regulation of No-Strings Attached Donations as Foundations' Nest Eggs Grow

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 (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

When it comes to tax-deductible charitable giving, donating to a so-called donor advised fund garners a higher tax write off than other types of funds. But when a foundation receives a gift via a donor advised fund it is under no legal obligation to spend the money on charitable projects – ever. These funds are gaining in popularity, especially in Silicon Valley where they can help offset capital gains taxes and stock appreciation. For example, over the past 10 years the Silicon Valley Community Foundation has grown by 800 percent, attaining assets of $13.5 billion. Yet the money the foundation actually passed on to local projects and organizations went down by 46 percent in 2017. We’ll hear about the growth of donor advised funds and why some critics are calling for their regulation.

NOTE: The Silicon Valley Community Foundation is among KQED’s financial supporters.

Jan Masaoka, CEO, California Association of Nonprofits
Alana Semuels, staff writer, The Atlantic; author, “The ‘Black Hole’ That Sucks Up Silicon Valley’s Money”


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