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New Campaign Built by Wealthy Americans will Increase Charitable Giving in Response to Unprecedented Crises

America has met its rainy day. In response, a group of philanthropists has launched a campaign, the Crisis Charitable Commitment (CCC), to encourage major foundations, donor-advised funds, and high net-worth individuals across the country to increase their charitable giving, now.

In light of the multiple, unprecedented crises facing the country, the CCC is calling on every foundation in America to increase its giving to at least 10 percent of its endowment over the next two years and on high net-worth individuals to commit up to 5% of their net worth in support of nonprofit organizations.

To date, more than 50 individuals, donor-advised funds (DAF’s) and foundations have answered the call and signed the pledge. Those pledges represent nearly $300 million in funds to help with our country’s greatest challenges this year

“Dealing with one crisis is tough enough, but dealing with multiple crises at once is overwhelming,” CCC founder Alan Davis, president of the Leonard and Sophie Davis Fund said today. “Business-as-usual is not going to alleviate the suffering or provide sufficient support to organizations working to address some of the problems these crises have exposed: challenges to democracy and our electoral system, racial injustice, vast economic inequality, environmental degradation, and a health system that is not up to the task of meeting everyone’s needs.”

Currently, private foundations that are required by law to pay out 5 percent of their assets each year are valued at $1 trillion. A further $120 billion is held in donor-advised funds which have no payout requirements. Were all foundations and DAFS to sign on to the 10 percent commitment, it would raise an additional $50 billion. An additional $10 trillion is held by ultra high-net-worth individuals whose wealth exceeds $25 million. Were those individuals — the one percent of America’s top one percent — to sign on to the CCC’s giving commitment, an additional $150 billion would become available to support nonprofit organizations and communities across the country.

The CCC pledge does not mandate giving to any specific organization or area of work; it requires signatories only to give to a legitimate non-profit (501(c3) or 501(c4)).

Among those who have already stepped up are the Wallace Global Fund, which plans to give out 20 percent this year and is lobbying Congress to enact the Emergency Charity Stimulus bill, requiring foundations and donor-advised funds to distribute at least 10 percent for three years.

As Scott Wallace, President of the Wallace Global Fund and a grandson of Henry A. Wallace, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vice president from 1941 to 1945, said in announcing their commitment, “[i]f in our hour of greatest need, America’s greatest crisis in generations, philanthropies are planning to spend less, then they need a big kick in the butt.”

Stephen Prince, Owner of National Business Products, who has signed the pledge, said today, “We’re not charging ourselves enough fare to ride the train that is called the United States of America. There is a fare to pay for that privilege. And we’re not paying it. And if we don’t it will not last.”

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