“Wisdom and Warnings” Video: How to Protect Your Legacy as a Donor

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

This video is part of a larger series called “Wisdom and Warnings,” in which philanthropic leaders offer best practices for safeguarding donor intent. At Philanthropy Roundtable, we believe honoring donor intent is one of the most effective ways to protect private giving, and is essential to a healthy philanthropic sector.  

“We launched this video series because we want philanthropists to be aware of what can happen when they leave their donor intent to chance,” said Joanne Florino, Philanthropy Roundtable’s Adam Meyerson Distinguished Fellow in Philanthropic Excellence. “There may be no perfect defense against the abuse of donor intent, but there are certainly best practices philanthropists should follow to protect their charitable legacies.”

The first video features 11 philanthropic experts who sought to answer the question: What is the one thing every donor should do to protect intent?

Experts suggested a variety of ways to help donors ensure charitable contributions go to causes they believe in during their lifetimes and beyond, with many emphasizing the importance of clearly stating donor intent in writing.

“The most important thing they can do is memorialize it,” said Kenneth Robinson, president and CEO of The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation. “If they don’t do that, then they are at risk for interpretations.”

Philanthropists featured in the first video include:

  • Lawson Bader, president and CEO, Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund
  • Linda Childears, former president and CEO, Daniels Fund
  • Kim Dennis, president, Searle Freedom Trust
  • Heather Templeton Dill, president, John Templeton Foundation
  • Calvin Edwards, founder and CEO, Calvin Edwards & Company
  • Rick Graber, president and CEO, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
  • Tom Riley, president, Connelly Foundation
  • Kenneth Robinson, president and CEO, The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation
  • Dylan Tatz, president, Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust
  • David Weekley, chairman, David Weekley Family Foundation
  • Keith Whitaker, president, Wise Counsel Research.

Philanthropy Roundtable is releasing “Wisdom and Warnings: How to Protect Donor Intent” because the organization believes a wealth creator’s philanthropic intentions matter and should be honored and protected.

“This video series offers advice from some of the nation’s leading experts in donor intent. It is a fantastic resource for philanthropists who want to ensure the wealth they earned during their lifetimes is invested in causes that align with their values after they are gone,” said Florino.

Click here to watch the first video in the series, “Wisdom and Warnings: How to Protect Donor Intent.” Next month, Philanthropy Roundtable will release a second video entitled “Wisdom and Warnings: A Conversation about Donor Intent with Carrie Tynan, CEO of Adolph Coors Foundation.” 

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