Donor Intent

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.

DoNation

Karl Zinsmeister breaks down the data on which Americans give most to charity, and why.

Soft Touch on a Thorny Dilemma

The Raskob Foundation does a clever job of engaging later generations while abiding by its founders’ preferences.

Endowing a New “Chinese” Rhodes

Stephen Schwarzman's $300 million gift has the multi-generation aim of smoothing Western relations with China—by mixing top students in Beijing for a fellowship year.

The Contested Legacy of J. Howard Pew

Rebecca Rimel and Evan Sparks debate Pew’s donor intent, as the president of Pew Charitable Trusts responds to a recent profile on J. Howard Pew in Philanthropy.

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.

Protecting Donor Intent

How to define and safeguard your philanthropic principles. This new 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.

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.

‘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. All voluntary giving is based on an act of trust, the shared understanding that the gift will be disbursed in a mutually acceptable fashion. If that trust is compromised, it undermines the very condition that makes philanthropy possible. Read more about our commitment to protecting donor intent here.

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.

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.

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