PRESIDENT AND MRS. CLINTON CONVENE "WHITE HOUSE
CONFERENCE ON PHILANTHROPY: GIFTS TO THE FUTURE"
October 22, 1999
Today the President and First Lady, with the National Endowment of the
Humanities (NEH), will convene the first-ever "White House Conference on
Philanthropy: Gifts to the Future." The conference will bring together
individuals who are engaged in philanthropy -- including charitable
donors, youth, policy experts, and representatives from non-profit
organizations, foundations, and educational programs -- to highlight the
unique American tradition of charitable giving; to discuss the diverse
and changing face of philanthropy; and at a time of the strongest
economy in a generation, to explore how to preserve and expand this
tradition for future generations.
Focusing On Philanthropic Giving As The New Millennium Approaches: As
the new millennium approaches, the American tradition of philanthropic
giving may take a new turn. Several recent economic, demographic and
technological advances and trends have made this an important time to
focus on charitable giving, such as:
- Giving has reached a new high, rising over 10% in 1998, the third
consecutive year in which giving increased.
- Dramatic gifts from some of America's wealthiest citizens have
drawn new attention to philanthropy and inspired debate about
appropriate giving levels.
- At the same time, there is a growing recognition that as the
demographic profile of the United States changes, giving by African
Americans, Hispanic Americans, and other people of color is essential to
the long-term health of the nonprofit sector and the expansion of our
collective philanthropic tradition.
- Just as the strongest economy in a generation has produced
unprecedented new wealth, the baby boom generation is poised to inherit
$12 trillion from their parents.
- New technology is creating new avenues for giving, through
for-profit and nonprofit Internet sites.
- And finally, new donors, particularly those who have made their
fortunes in the technology boom, have become innovators in the world of
philanthropy, as they look for greater involvement in the causes they
support and greater accountability for results. These "venture
philanthropists" find kindred spirits among new social entrepreneurs who
are applying new thinking and business solutions to the problems that
plague our communities.
Clinton Administration Commitments:
At the conference, the President and Mrs. Clinton will announce new
Administration commitments to improve our understanding of giving and to
encourage subsequent activities and dialogue on giving.
Encouraging Productive Partnerships Between Government and Nonprofits
Today, President Clinton will announce that he is creating a new
Task Force on Nonprofits and Government to strengthen and support the
important collaborative efforts of the nonprofit sector and government.
In 1998, an estimated $175 billion was given by Americans to a wide
variety of causes and organizations. In many cases, nonprofit
organizations convert America's giving into results -- helping people in
need, providing health care and educating our nation's youth.
Nonprofits are uniquely able to identify problems and promote change at
the community level. As the sector grows, increasing opportunity arises
to forge more effective partnerships between nonprofits and government
to address public needs. The Task Force will develop a public inventory
of "best practices" in existing collaborations between the Federal
Government and nonprofits and work with nonprofits to apply these models
to other governmental efforts. The Task Force will also examine ways
the Federal Government can better draw upon the experience and
innovations of nonprofits, evaluate trends on nonprofits and
philanthropy, and work with nonprofits to explore new policies that
encourage philanthropy and service and help nonprofits develop and grow.
In view of the growing size and importance of the nonprofits
sector, a new "Tax Exempt and Government Entities" division was recently
established at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). As part of this
effort, the Treasury Department also recently announced the formation of
a "Tax Exempt Advisory Committee" to provide a public forum for
discussions between the IRS and representatives of nonprofits
organizations. This Advisory Committee will enable the IRS to receive
regular input with respect to the development and implementation of tax
policies and practices affecting nonprofits.
Examining Tax-related Issues and Research Opportunities: The
Department of the Treasury also will hold a meeting with organizations
involved in the conference to discuss tax policy and research issues
affecting the nonprofit sector.
Expanding Our Understanding of Charitable Giving: The Council of
Economic Advisers will undertake an analysis of the role of philanthropy
in the economy, including discussion and interpretation of trends in
charitable giving, factors that affect giving, and how the aging of Baby
Boomers and other trends are likely to affect giving in the future.
Please see attached fact sheet.
Corporate and Private Commitments to Expand Giving:
The President and Mrs. Clinton also will highlight several new private
initiatives to encourage the expansion of charitable giving, such as:
AOL Foundation: The AOL Foundation will highlight its launch of
Helping.org, a revolutionary e-philanthropy portal that provides
Americans who want to lend a helping hand with the fastest, safest,
easiest and most cost-effective way to donate money or volunteer time to
the charity of their choice. Helping.org connects users to over 620,000
charities and more than 20,000 volunteer activities, providing an
important new resource for the more than two-thirds of American
households that already make charitable contributions, as well as those
new to philanthropy.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: A group of organizations
concerned with youth giving and service, including the United Way of
America, Save the Children, US Committee for UNICEF, City Year, and the
Corporation for National Service, have made a commitment to work
together on a youth and philanthropy initiative. The Gates Foundation
will announce its intention to support the next phase of their planning,
including a follow-up conference and will encourage other organizations
to support this important effort.
Girl Scouts of the USA: The Girl Scouts of the USA will unveil its
new philanthropy patch entitled "Strength and Sharing." Beginning in
2000, Girl Scouts of all age levels will earn interest patches that will
help them recognize and learn from philanthropists in their own
families, places of worship, schools, Girl Scout troops, and
neighborhoods. The program will allow girls to identify and assist
organizations and institutions that meet community needs and understand
how their own time and money can make a difference in their communities.
Building on the White House Conference on Philanthropy:
On the occasion of the White House Conference on Philanthropy, the
National Information Charities Bureau (NCIB), together with the
Department of Commerce, GreaterGood.com, CharitableWay.com, and the AOL
Foundation will host the "E-Philanthropy: Technology and the Nonprofit
Community" forum to discuss the how the ever-increasing use of the
Internet will impact the unique American tradition of charitable giving.
At the White House conference, William Massey of NCIB will report on the
morning session of the E-Philanthropy conference.
The Corporation for National Service will host a morning conference
on youth and philanthropy called, "Raising the Roof: Youth Voices on
Giving." At the White House conference, Malik Evans, a sophomore at the
University of Rochester, will report on what was discussed at the youth
Engaging Communities Around the Country:
A portion of the "White House Conference on Philanthropy" will be
broadcast via satellite, presenting an extraordinary opportunity for
communities across the country to participate in this important
discussion. Over 3,500 sites in 40 states will view the conference via
satellite, with the assistance of a grant from the Charles Mott
Foundation and the support of SCETV, and the Department of Education. An
additional 10.1 million viewers around the country will have access to
viewing the conference through PBS and cable channels' live broadcasts.
The White Conference on Philanthropy is made possible with the support
of The National Endowment for the Humanities, South Carolina Educational
Television, The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Community
Foundation-Silicon Valley, The J. Paul Getty Trust, the Iscol Family
Foundation, The Marcie Polier Family Foundation, the American Red Cross,
and the United Way of America.