Category Archives: Donor Intent

The Philanthropic Path for Improving Lives

The Philanthropic Path for Improving Lives

There are many reasons I failed miserably as a child lemonade-stand entrepreneur. Chief among them was my 8 year old self’s inability to understand marginal utility, price theory, and advertising placement. Well, that and the fact it was a hot day, and I was so thirsty that I consumed my limited supply.

But I did get something right. I understood …

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Government “Philanthropy” vs. Private Giving

Government “Philanthropy” vs. Private Giving

Last week I made a call I didn’t want to make. A client sent a grant request for an organization that receives a significant portion of its revenue from government sources. I had to tell the client our Board likely would not approve the grant.

Since our founding, one of DonorsTrust’s guiding rules has prohibited grants to organizations receiving more …

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Myths Part 3: Misconceptions about the social value of DAFs

Myths Part 3: Misconceptions about the social value of DAFs

The first four misconceptions about donor-advised funds (part one is here and part two is here) related largely to how individuals use donor-advised funds, particularly as compared to other charitable vehicles. Today, we’ll look at two ideas that apply broadly to donor-advised funds and are, sadly, used by some to not just discourage use of this charitable vehicle but …

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Myths Part 2: Misconceptions about flexibility and control

Myths Part 2: Misconceptions about flexibility and control

Last week, we looked at the first two of our six misconceptions about donor-advised funds. Today we’ll explore two more misconceptions, these related to flexibility and control.  Next week, we’ll look at two final myths related to the efficacy and value of donor-advised funds.

#3 – Donor-advised funds lack the flexibility of a foundation

It is certainly true that there …

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Confusion Around Giving by Fiorina Highlights Importance of Donor Intent and Charitable Engagement

Confusion Around Giving by Fiorina Highlights Importance of Donor Intent and Charitable Engagement

Photo credit: National Review

Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina received flack this week because of reports that her “foundation” gave to Planned Parenthood, an organization to which she has been particularly antagonistic recently on the campaign trail.

In truth, Fiorina and her husband did not have a stand-alone private foundation at all. Rather, they were advisors on a donor-advised account they …

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Know the “how” in addition to the “what” of donor intent

Know the “how” in addition to the “what” of donor intent

Many donors have a sense, even if just in their gut, of the causes and specific charities they want their philanthropic dollars to fund. All of that is meaningless, though, if they can’t be confident that those wishes will be carried out.

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal highlights the difficulties of carrying out donor intent. In “Staying

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Keeping the Intent Alive

Keeping the Intent Alive

Can DonorsTrust be expected to maintain the same diligence, the same integrity, and the same focus on donor intent after losing its co-founder and president, Whitney Ball?

I first saw a version of this question posed in response to the Wall Street Journal‘s online article about Whitney’s death.  My initial response, along with many people I knew, was to …

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