NPQ is doing something different this morning; we’re offering up three features from the summer 2018 edition of the Nonprofit Quarterly, each looking at the need for the review of donor-advised funds. Two are written by well-known and learned advocates for regulation of this rapidly expanding field of philanthropy—Dean Zerbe (“DAF Reform—A Chance to Provide a Real Benefit to Working Charities”) and Ray Madoff (“Three Simple Steps to Protect Charities and American Taxpayers from the Rise of Donor-Advised Funds”)—and one is written by NPQ editor-in-chief Ruth McCambridge. This last one—“Do Donor-Advised Funds Require Regulatory Attention?”—lays out NPQ’s own current policy position, which is informed not only by the other two but also by numerous other examinations of and debates about the field. It is also prompted in part by the rapid growth of this field of philanthropy.
We realize full well that this topic is in a tense standoff right now, and that our publishing of two regulatory advocates might be interpreted as an endorsement of their positions, which are now unfortunately too widely viewed as hostile to the field. But, we would ask you to recall that NPQ has not traditionally been in anything close to the anti-DAF camp—nor are we now. This cluster of articles is meant to spark further discussion and unified action in the terms of a combination of external and self-regulation, and we welcome additional contributions to the conversation.