Class-Action Lawsuit Results in New Federal Protections

A class-action lawsuit filed in Texas that went to the U.S. Supreme Court threatened to assess triple damages (original gift amount plus twice that amount) against every nonprofit that followed the ACGA maximum payment rate schedule.

Terry Simmons
Terry Simmons. Photo credit: Lake Highlands Advocate magazine.

Terry Simmons, an attorney and past President of the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG), mobilized a successful legal and lobbying campaign through an organization called Charitable Accord.  Thanks to Simmons’ leadership, Congress affirmed the soundness of America’s voluntary risk-management system for charitable gift annuities by enacting the Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995 and the Charitable Donation Antitrust Immunity Act of 1997. These laws explicitly exempt collective, pooled investments by money managers for charitable emainder trusts and pooled income funds as well as gift annuities, and require nonprofits to disclose certain information to donors.

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