Multi-billion-dollar gifts make a splash in the headlines. However, the gifts of small-dollar donors are the glue that binds a community together, serving and meeting the needs of those fallen on hard times. DonorsTrust Vice President Peter Lipsett shares a personal story of his hometown and how its residents kept a food-distribution charity in business when other interests threatened the nonprofit’s existence.
As he explains in a recent column for The Washington Times:
“The nationalization of news means it’s more common to read about the splashy philanthropy of millionaires and billionaires. The mega-gifts that make the headlines, though, run the risk of demoralizing those of us for whom a major gift is a $1,000 or even $100 check.
More than simply undermining the giving impulse, a focus on mega-gifts sparks the regulatory impulse of legislators. Several pieces of legislation floating around Washington and some state legislatures threaten to chill giving in various ways.
The ACE Act (originally introduced in the U.S. Senate as S. 1981 and more recently gained a companion version in the House) proposes to ‘accelerate giving’ but instead puts unnecessary guard rails around small family foundations, which so often are integral to local community giving. The proposal also weakens donor-advised funds, increasingly a preferred way for midsize donors to manage their giving.”
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