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Donor Intent

Going for Broke

How foundations sunset, and the reasons it’s becoming popular. 

Port in a Storm

When a disaster hits, Americans are eager to open their wallets to help. Yet donors often have no clear idea of what happens to their contributions or whether they are used in the best ways possible. 

Interview with Christopher Oechsli

The president of Atlantic Philanthropies reflects on Chuck Feeney's legendary generosity, the value of bricks-and-mortar giving, and how to recover donor intent. 

Four Brothers and the Apocalypse

Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynastya surprising biography of the Koch family that offers a fascinating window into their life and philanthropy. 

Donor Intent Resource Library

We have assembled an extensive resource library as part of our ongoing commitment to preserving, strengthening, and celebrating the principle of donor intent. Our resource library will direct you to the best articles, books, and panel discussions on the topic of establishing and preserving donor intent.

Protecting Donor Intent

How to define and safeguard your philanthropic principles. This guidebook by Jeffrey J. Cain offers detailed guidance to philanthropists who want to ensure that the assets they dedicate to charity are disbursed as they intend. It identifies common pitfalls, explains relevant tradeoffs, and describes successful strategies used by other donors. It lays a broad range of options before you, and suggests ways you can define, secure, and perpetuate your charitable intentions.

An Unconventional Foundation Life

Though not a conventional choice, sunsetting can be an effective philanthropic strategy asserts Frances Ostrower in her remarks at the 2012 Annual Meeting.

‘New York Times’ Cites Roundtable on Preserving Donor Intent in the Arts

In its recent piece on balancing museum management with respect for donor intent, the ‘New York Times’ cites Roundtable president Adam Meyerson and ‘Protecting Donor Intent’ author Jeffrey J. Cain. Click here to see the piece and to learn more about safeguarding philanthropic principles.

Commitment to Protecting Donor Intent

The Philanthropy Roundtable is committed to preserving, strengthening, and celebrating the principle of donor intent. We believe that respect for donor intent is essential to philanthropic integrity. Read more about our commitment to protecting donor intent here.

Mission Possible

When defining your mission, what may seem obvious to you may not be obvious to others. Kim Dennis of the Searle Freedom Trust and Linda Childears of the Daniels Fund share from their first-hand experience what they have learned about writing an effective and enduring mission statement.

Recovering Donor Intent If It’s Lost

Can a philanthropic organization left with no clear road map still honor its founder’s charitable intent? In this companion piece to his recent guidebook, Jeffrey Cain discusses means of rediscovering donor intent after it has been lost, and then preserving it into the future.

When Philanthropy Goes Wrong

In this Wall Street Journal essay, Adam Meyerson warns donors against the risk that their gifts will be redirected into purposes they did not intend and offers advice on how to prevent violations of charitable intent.

Giving It All

Alan Barnhart and his brother Eric owned a $250 million company. Owned. Past tense. Because they gave it away. 

100 Years of Experts Armed with Money…

...sure didn't do much for Cleveland. Community foundations at a milestone.

An Ugly Parks Plan

If New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, gets his way, the Big Apple will undo one of the most successful philanthropic experiments of the past three decades: transforming Central Park from decaying and dangerous to vibrant and verdant in just a few short years. 

Creating a Mission Statement to Preserve a Philanthropic Vision

With a clear and effective mission statement, a foundation can enact its vision and preserve the intent of its founding philanthropist.

Every Cause Is Not Alike

A legal battle with a New Jersey animal shelter proves to be a win for donor intent.  

Learning from the Sunset

Five lessons for lasting impact from foundations that spend down.

Cash for the Poor?

A tale of unconventional givers. 

Robin Hood Rules

A new book lays out the details of the data-driven philanthropy of the Robin Hood Foundation.

Don’t Disable Wounded Veterans With Money

Philanthropists who want to help must consider long-term incentives and put self-reliance at the heart of their giving, explains LTC Daniel Gade.

Big Investment in a New Approach

The Guttman Foundation spends down with a landmark $25 million gift to a two-year public college.

Broadening Political Discussion on Campus

A new Colorado program in Conservative Thought and Policy seeks to expand on-campus dialogue.