Philanthropy and the charitable sector are the institutional embodiments of society’s highest ideals: the voluntary commitment of time and resources in pursuit of making the world a better place. It is because of these important ideals that the government chooses to subsidize charitable activities through the tax code.
However, experience teaches us that legislation and regulation do not always produce optimal results. Society must periodically revisit the rules and ask whether they adequately further the accomplishment of desired goals. This inquiry serves to strengthen the philanthropic sector as well, as any perceived disconnect between the charitable sector and the public good undermines public confidence and invites reactive legislative intervention.
The goal of the Forum is to assume a leadership role in developing a full and fair airing of issues in connection with this inquiry. While Congress has shown interest in addressing issues of philanthropy and tax policy, too often the only feedback it receives is from interested parties and too little attention is paid to the broader public good. The work of the Forum is non-partisan and unencumbered by constituent interests.
The Forum operates as a time-limited think tank that brings together the nation’s leading experts in philanthropy to engage deeply in matters of philanthropy policy. By raising the level of sophistication of policy discussions and their timely expression, we believe that the Forum plays a useful, non-partisan role in raising, exploring and resolving issues whose resolution stands to promote the use of philanthropy in pursuit of the public good.