The sixth Deals Roundtable, sponsored by the Charles Evans Gerber Transactional Studies Program, entitled "Taxing Philanthropy," was held on Friday, November 9, 2007 at Columbia Law School. The Roundtable brought together prominent philanthropists, academics, practitioners, and policymakers for an intensive discussions of the role of tax-exempt organizations in our society. In particular, topics of discussion included the ways in which our tax system does--and should--promote charitable giving.
Patty Stonesifer, CEO of the Gates Foundation, took part in a luncheon question and answer session that was moderated by Harvey Goldschmid ‘65 (Columbia Law School). Ms. Stonesifer addressed a range of questions regarding the operations of the Gates Foundation, including how future charitable investments are selected and how current foundation projects are monitored.
After the luncheon, Dean David Schizer (Columbia Law School) presented his article, "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions: Incentives, Information, and the Private Pursuit of Public Goals." Comments were provided by Alexander Friedman ‘97 (CFO of the Gates Foundation) and Edward McCaffery (USC Law School).
Daniel Halperin (Harvard Law School) presented his article, "Is Income Tax Exemption for Charities Special? The Issue Is Investment Income." Comments were provided by Henry Hansmann (Yale Law School) and Catherine Livingston (IRS Assistant Chief Counsel for Tax-Exempt and Government Entities).
The day concluded with a panel discussion moderated by DeanDavid Schizer and featuring Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. (CEO of Fletcher Asset Management), Ellen Futter ‘74 (President of the American Museum of Natural History), Peter Harvey ‘82 (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler and former Attorney General of New Jersey) and H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest ‘58 (prominent philanthropist involved in the governance of several notable nonprofit organizations, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Columbia University). The panelists discussed issues surrounding the funding, monitoring, control, and governance of philanthropic organizations.