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Articles About Philanthropy

Foundations' Longevity Should Be Valued

Our president, Lorie Slutsky, wrote this opinion piece with Susan Berresford, former president of the Ford Foundation. It was published in the September 4, 2008, issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

"Too many Americans are losing their homes and jobs, and the already high number of people without health insurance is growing. Shouldn't America's endowed foundations, which hold more than $600-billion in assets, be required to give away more than they now do to solve those and other problems facing the nation? That is the view of some government officials and nonprofit advocates who would like to require foundations to distribute a greater share of their assets each year, even if doing so causes foundations to go out of business instead of operating forever, as many of their donors intended." Read more »

Keep Donations Flexible Now to Avoid Conflict Tomorrow

By Paul Sullivan for The New York Times, May 2, 2009.

Like many people, I pay attention when I hear news about my alma mater. I enjoyed college — I went to Trinity College in Connecticut — and still like to know what is going on there. But last week, I spotted something about Trinity that made me think about a growing problem between donors and recipients: a clash over how to use a long-ago gift.

The story in Trinity’s case is a common one for these rifts. An economics professor (whom I don’t know) complained to the Connecticut attorney general’s office that money meant to support his endowed position was being misused. What had been $750,000 some 30 years ago had grown to $9 million. That was far more than was needed to pay one professor, so the college proposed using some of the excess income to pay for scholarships. The professor cried foul. Read more »

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