The Rise of Donor Advised Funds: Should Congress Respond?

The Rise of Donor Advised Funds: Should Congress Respond?

October 23, 2015

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) have emerged from relative obscurity to become one of today’s most prominent—and sometimes most hotly contested—charitable vehicles. The subject of donor-advised funds is discussed regularly at conferences and in the halls of Congress as well as in newspapers, newsletters, blogs and every other place where formal and informal conversations about the charitable sector occur.

However, despite their ubiquity, conversations about DAFs are rarely as informative as they might be. Too often they occur in silos—critics in conversation with critics and advocates in conversation with advocates. The result is that policy makers and others seeking to follow the debate are often left at sea by a public discoursethat is conflicting and limited by a lack of common principles.

This conference helped move the conversation forward. By bringing together scholars and practitioners from all sides of the DAF debate with the goal of identifying points of agreement and explicating points of disagreement, important policy were able to be better evaluated by policy makers.

Become a Co-Sponsor

For more information about becoming a co-sponsor, please contact Professor of Law and Forum Convenor Ray Madoff


Conference Schedule

Friday, October 23, 2015
8:30-9:00amLight Breakfast

Welcome and Introduction

Ray D. Madoff, Boston College Law School


Setting the Stage

Moderator: William A. Schambra, Hudson Institute

History of DAFs

Lilia Corwin Berman, Temple University

Warm Glow and DAFs: Insights from Behavioral Economics

James Andreoni, University of California, San Diego

DAFs and the Financing of the Nonprofit Sector

Andrea Levere, Corporation for Enterprise Development

10:30-10:45amCoffee Break

DAFs By the Numbers

Brian Galle, Georgetown Law School

Paul Arnsberger, Internal Revenue Service, Statistics of Income


A View from the Hill

Moderator: Alexander Reid, Morgan, Lewis and Bockius


Gordon Clay, Senior Legislation Counsel, Joint Committee on Taxation

Chris Conlin, Tax Counsel, Senator Grassley

Harold Hancock, Tax Counsel, House Ways and Means Committee

Alan Lee, Tax Counsel, House Ways and Means Committee


Debate: Should Congress Respond?

Moderator: Rick Cohen, Nonprofit Quaterly


Victoria Bjorklund, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Alan Cantor, Alan Cantor Consulting

Roger Colinvaux, Columbia School of Law, The Catholic University of America

Joanne Florino, Philanthropy Roundtable


Discussion: Should All Sponsoring Organization Be Treated the Same?

Moderator: Stacy Palmer, The Chronicle of Philanthropy


Thomas W. Bridge, Fidelity Charitable

Howard Husock, The Manhattan Institute

Terry Mazany, Chicago Community Trust

Alicia Philipp, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta


Concluding Thoughts

William Bagley, Boston College Law School


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