Jack Salmon in Martin Center for Academic Renewal: A New Kansas Law Protects Donor Intent

In an op-ed published July 21, 2023 by The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, Philanthropy Roundtable Director of Policy Research Jack Salmon applauds the Kansas legislature for its passage of the Donor Intent Protection Act, a law that will prevent the misallocation of charitable funds.  

Below are excerpts from the article entitled “A New Kansas Law Protects Donor Intent”:  

“Earlier this year, in a landmark action, the Kansas legislature passed the Donor Intent Protection Act, which helps ensure that donors’ wishes are respected when they make a charitable gift as an endowment. This is a significant step forward for philanthropy, as it will help to build trust between donors and beneficiaries, on campus and elsewhere. 

Donor-intent protections are intended to uphold the details of an explicit written agreement between a donor and a charitable organization. Such agreements typically specify how the endowed funds will be used, such as for a specific program or purpose. When a donor makes a gift to an endowment with specific intentions, it is important that those intentions be respected. 

There are a number of reasons why this is so. First, donor-intent protections help ensure that donors’ wishes are carried out. When donors make a gift, they are entrusting their money to a charitable organization with the expectation that it will be used for the purpose they intended. Donor-intent protections help to guarantee that this trust is not betrayed. Donor-intent protections help build trust between donors and beneficiaries. 

Second, donor-intent protections help build trust between donors and beneficiaries. When donors know their wishes will be respected, they are more likely to give. This is good for both donors and beneficiaries, as it helps to ensure that charitable organizations have the resources they need to carry out their missions. 

Third, donor-intent protections help promote transparency and accountability. When charitable organizations are required to adhere to donors’ intent, it helps to guarantee that they are using donors’ money in a responsible and ethical way. This is important for both donors and the public, as it helps to hold charitable organizations accountable for their actions.” 

To read the complete article, please visit The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal 

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