David Wills on Religious Charity and Taxes
Date: April 8th, 2013

(While your host is taking a short break, we rebroadcast this interview from two years ago.  The issues remain as timely today as they were then!)

David Wills, president of the National Christian Foundation (NCF) and a lawyer specializing in charitable giving and estate planning, joins our program to discuss the relationship between charitable giving, taxation and other government regulations.  Our discussion starts on a broad philosophical level, examining how our society decides to allocate resources to solve various social problems — either via private charity or government intervention.  We center our attention on disaster relief  but observe that the pincipals we discuss apply to a wide range of social services.  David reviews how his foundation operates and facilitates the relationship between donors and charitable organizations, which include both religious and secular organizations.  Surprisingly, we discover that the NCF not only serves large philanthropic donors, but regular folks who might be donating just a couple thousand dollars each year.  Tony notes that the NCF represents a unique entrepreneurial institution that allows individuals to make the most efficient use of their giving.  We then discuss whether increases in taxation and government services have affected level and nature of charitable giveing.  David provides an interesting grassroots perspective on this issue that contrasts with an earlier podcast we had with Daniel Hungerman.  Our conversation turns to tax laws and other regulations affecting charitable organizations.  David discusses how both tax rates and the regulatory defnition of what constitutes a charity can have a large impact on religious charity.  He provides some insight into some potential legal and tax code changes on the horizon that may have a large impact on NGOs and donors.  Anybody who runs, or donates to, a charitable organization will want to listen closely to what is happening as these changes are not widely discussed in the news media.  Tony asks David about his thoughts on the Bush Administration’s Faith-Based Insiative.  David finishes with some interesting observations about the role of megachurches with respect to these potential legal changes and his views on the future of megachurches contrasts with that of our previous guest, James Brettell.  Recorded: March 23, 2011.


The National Christian Foundation.

Investing in God’s Business, by Terry Parker, Gregory Sperry, and David Wills.  (Free selection here.)

Family.Money: Five Questions Every  Family Should Ask about Wealth, by David Wills, Terry Parker, and Gregory Sperry.  (Free selection here.)


Dan Hungerman on Religious Charity and Crowding Out.

Jay Hein on the Faith-Based and Community Initiative

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