The Philanthropy Roundtable mourns the passing of Whitney Ball at age 52. She was a trusted friend to many in the philanthropy world, a staunch champion of freedom, and a pioneer in foreseeing and meeting the need for principle-oriented donor-advised funds.
“As founder of DonorsTrust, which filled an important gap by administering donor-advised funds for philanthropists committed to liberty, Whitney was one of America’s great entrepreneurs in conservative and libertarian philanthropy,” states Adam Meyerson, president of The Philanthropy Roundtable. “Since its founding in 1999, DonorsTrust has guided $740 million to liberty-oriented causes. Under Whitney’s principled leadership DonorsTrust became a vehicle philanthropists could trust to protect their donor intent, and a highly flexible tool allowing like-minded givers to pool funds for strategic purposes. Whitney was one of those rare CEOs to combine entrepreneurial energy with a passionate focus on detail, big-picture vision with careful attention to legal and financial compliance.”
Before starting DonorsTrust, Ball was executive director of The Philanthropy Roundtable, where she forged relationships among public-spirited donors and helped founding president Kim Dennis build the organization and create many of its distinctive products, including the Annual Meeting.
Ball also served as director of development for the Cato Institute, and worked at Consumers’ Research Magazine. She served on the boards of Donors Capital Fund and the State Policy Network, and contributed to countless nonprofits and volunteer organizations, connecting service providers and donors with a discerning eye.
During her difficult battle with cancer, says Meyerson, Ball was “guided by deep religious faith and optimism. She remained in cheerful spirits, focused on her friends and family and the useful institutions she had built. All who knew her encountered a woman of valor, entrepreneurial energy, principled leadership, loving kindness, and unstinting commitment to liberty.”