“Wisdom and Warnings” Video: Coors Foundation CEO Offers Insight into Protecting Donor Intent

Philanthropy Roundtable today released a new video, “Wisdom and Warnings: A Conversation about Donor Intent with Carrie Tynan, CEO of Adolph Coors Foundation.”

In this video, Tynan discusses the history of the foundation and its mission to help people help themselves with limited government interaction. She details the organization’s focus on maintaining its founders’ intent – and its approach to making funding decisions that align with the foundation’s guiding principles. 

This is the second video in the Roundtable’s “Wisdom and Warnings” series which features philanthropic leaders who offer best practices for safeguarding donor intent.

As CEO of the Adolph Coors Foundation, Tynan considers protecting the philanthropic intent of the organization’s founders, Bill and Joe Coors, to be one of her primary responsibilities.

“I do take on that role very seriously,” said Tynan. “It’s not that they gave us such a clear directive. We have a vision for America versus a mission statement or donor intent statement. But they gave us the guidelines of the ideas that they like, the things that they believe in, the values that they believe in.”

Those values – limited government and entrepreneurship – still drive the foundation’s giving strategy now, almost 45 years after its founding.

“Since inception, we’ve placed a priority on programs that help [people] prosper, help adults get back to work, help advance public policies that reflect our nation’s founding principles to really help people help themselves,” Tynan explained.

Tynan believes a donor’s values provide a better guide to donor intent than specific charities the donor may have supported in the past.

“I think donors who are leaving their wealth to future generations can really help by providing those guardrails with the things that they like, rather than specific organizations,” she said. “We have values to lean on rather than organizations that may or may not align with us from 45 years ago.”

Philanthropy Roundtable is releasing the “Wisdom and Warnings” series because the organization believes a wealth creator’s philanthropic intentions matter and should be honored and protected. 

The first video, “Wisdom and Warnings: How to Protect Donor Intent,” features advice from 11 prominent philanthropists and grantmakers on how to protect a donor’s legacy, including providing written instructions, sunsetting a foundation – and giving while living.

The second video provides an in-depth conversation with Tynan, a foundation leader who faces the day-to-day challenge of protecting a philanthropic legacy put in motion decades ago.

“With the ‘Wisdom and Warnings’ series, our intent is to help philanthropists ensure their wealth is invested in causes that align with their values during their lifetimes and beyond,” said Joanne Florino, Philanthropy Roundtable’s Adam Meyerson distinguished fellow in philanthropic excellence. “This video is a great guide for any foundation leader who wants to protect donor intent but may lack written directives on giving from their organization’s founders.”

Click here to watch the first video in the series, “Wisdom and Warnings: How to Protect Donor Intent.” 

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