July 25,2006

Grassley on Charitable Community’s Letter to the President on Charitable Package


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Charitable package endorsement
Da: Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, is working to advance his
package of charitable giving incentives and safeguard measures as part of the pending pension
reform legislation. Independent Sector, a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of approximately 550
charities, foundations, and corporate philanthropy programs, collectively representing tens of
thousands of charitable groups in every state across the nation, this week asked President Bush to
help secure passage of the Grassley package. Grassley made the following comment on this

“Independent Sector speaks for much of the charitable community. It’s important to get this
endorsement. My package of charitable giving incentives and protective steps would help encourage
new donations and ensure that charitable dollars go to charities, not to enrich individuals at charities’
expense. I hope we’ll enact this package as soon as possible.”

The text of Independent Sector’s letter follows.

July 24, 2006

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

I am writing today on behalf of hundreds of charitable organizations who support the efforts of
Senators Charles Grassley and Max Baucus to enact legislation to help prevent abuse in the
charitable sector and provide additional tax incentives for all Americans to give more resources to
the charitable community. We ask that you exercise your strong leadership at this critical moment
to help secure the passage of a significant package of charitable giving incentives and important
charitable safeguard measures as part of the pending pension reform legislation.

As you know, the Senate's version of the “Tax Relief Act of 2005” (H.R. 4297) contained an
important package of charitable reforms. The proposed reforms are intended to address alleged
abuses in the charitable sector reported in numerous media stories over the last several years. The
charitable community believes that both government and the sector itself must take appropriate
action to prevent and punish illegal and unethical conduct in the charitable sector because, although
the vast majority of nonprofit organizations operate in a lawful and ethical manner, each reported
abuse harms the entire sector by undermining the public trust and support for our work. T he reforms
as currently drafted will strengthen the work of our sector by deterring potential abuse of charities
and create additional safeguards to ensure that donated funds are used for charitable purposes.

The Senate paired these needed safeguards with several vital charitable giving incentives. We believe
that the proposed charitable incentives, which were also contained in the widely supported CARE
Act and reflect previous proposals of your Administration, will help to spur increased charitable
giving by all Americans. As a result, Independent Sector and a broad coalition of charitable
organizations, and millions of volunteers and donors, support the passage of a significant package
of charitable incentives and safeguards as part of the pension reform legislation.

In addition to enactment of these measures, we support the increased enforcement of current law,
and applaud the efforts of Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark Everson to devote more
energy and resources at the IRS on oversight of the charitable community. Indeed, we have been
advocating in Congress for increased funding for IRS enforcement efforts like that proposed in your
Fiscal Year 2007 budget.

Last September, I was privileged to meet with you at the White House along with other leaders of
the charitable community to discuss the critical role that charities would play in responding to
Hurricane Katrina and the substantial resources charities would need to meet that and other ongoing
challenges. I know you to be strong and consistent champion of the charitable community, in
particular through your repeated public support for increased charitable giving.

Mr. President, we believe that a strong expression of support now for this package of charitable
giving incentives and needed safeguards by the White House to the leadership of the House and
Senate, and the leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee,
would help ensure their enactment as part of the pension reform legislation and advance your long
standing agenda for the charitable community. It is our view that the pension reform legislation
represents the best opportunity this year to pass these incentives and reforms that will provide
important benefits to charitable organizations and support strong ethical conduct within the
charitable community.

Sincerely yours,

Diana Aviv
President and CEO