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Ask Senators to Support the America Gives More Act

Posted By Adam Donaldson, Thursday, August 14, 2014
While U.S. Senators have returned from DC to their home states, it's time to engage them with an important message: Support the America Gives More Act!


The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers has communicated with Senators Benjamin Cardin and Barbara Mikulski about the short window of opportunity before the end of the 113th Congress to significantly increase charitable giving to address local needs (click for letter).  The House of Representatives passed the America Gives More Act of 2014 (H.R. 4719) on July 17th and the Senate must now take action for the bill to become law.

Now it is your turn.  We recommend that our members, private and community foundations, and nonprofit organizations learn more about the America Gives More Act and contact their Senators to express support.  Your voice will add to the call from Independent Sector, National Council of Nonprofits, Council of Foundations, and our Forum Network of regional associations of grantmakers.

Action Step
Contact Senator Cardin and Senator Mikulski before they go back to Washington, D.C. on September 5.  Ask them to support the America Gives More Act and to urge Senate Majority Leader Reid to schedule a vote on the bill when the Senate reconvenes in September.

Sample Communication:

I am writing to request your support for the America Gives More Act of 2014 (H.R. 4719), which the House passed on July 17th. The America Gives More Act includes five provisions that are crucial to the philanthropic and nonprofit community which are:

  • Permanently reinstating the IRA charitable rollover;
  • Simplifying the excise tax to one percent for private foundations' investment income;
  • Permanently reinstating the enhanced deduction for donating land conservation easements;
  • Permanently reinstating the enhanced deduction for donating food inventory; and 
  • Extending the deadline for claiming charitable donations on the previous year’s tax filing through April 15.

[provide an example of the results of your work in Maryland]

Thank you for your consideration and continued support of Maryland’s philanthropic and nonprofit communities.


Check out these talking points from our colleagues around the field.

Private and Family Foundation Members --  Reaching out to legislators with a description of the legislation, which includes the EXCISE TAX, is permissible under IRS guidelines because it falls under the “self-defense” lobbying rules.

The window of opportunity to enact these changes that will promote philanthropy is small.  The work in the House is done.  But, the Senate only has fifteen to get any work done before it adjourns in October for the elections.  After that, we are looking at a new Congress and having to start the process all over again.  This is one of those rare moments in the Congressional process when the opportunity is real and the timeframe for acting is clearly defined.

If you would like more information or assistance in your own advocacy efforts, please contact Adam at or 410-727-1205.  And! If you do reach out to Senators Cardin and Mikulski, please let us know – especially if you get a response back. We will keep you posted as to what happens in September when the Senate returns to DC.

Tags:  America Gives More Act  Charitable Giving  excise-tax  IRA  position statement  tax 

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