Books
Foundations
Gifts & Giving
NonProfits
Public Commons
Social Ventures
Online
Home » NonProfits

Giving While Living

By Kate Golden on March 14, 2007No Comment

Tyler Green makes a strong argument for giving now in his recent report on donor intent in Fortune Magazine.  Citing high-profile cases in which a recipient’s use of donor funds has been contested years after the gift was made – including the Robertson family’s very public battle with Princeton University – Green argues that philanthropists with a clear mission for their money ought to give it away while they are alive, or stipulate a timeline for its expenditure.  Warren Buffett, for example, has stated that his donated Berkshire Hathaway shares must be spent within ten years of his estate closing.

Many have emulated (or tried to emulate) Buffett’s wildly successful approach to investments.  His approach to philanthropy may also attract imitators.  His record-breaking generosity vaulted him even more firmly into the public eye when it was announced in June, and as the terms of his gift dictate, the Gates Foundation must begin spending his money within the next two years – enabling Buffett to witness (and keep tabs on) some of the results of his donation.

Buffett told Carol Loomis, also of Fortune Magazine, "I know what I want to do, and it makes sense to get going."  For those with similar fortitude, donating a large gift while still alive can be an appealing option.  But for those who tend to change their minds, a bequest may still be the way to go – money given to a charity is irrevocable and cannot be taken back.

Determining donor intent can be a timely, costly process.  And the courts do not always rule in favor of the donor.  As the Barnes Foundation moves its paintings to downtown Philadelphia – in what many believe to be a contradiction of Albert Barnes’ vision for his art collection – Buffett’s approach to philanthropy may gain additional emulators.

Share This Post
[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [LinkedIn] [Twitter] [Email]

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

Tags

#cgi2010 Allison Fine Barack Obama Beth Kanter Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Clinton Blogs Case Foundation CauseWired Change.org Changing Our World Clinton Global Initiative Corporate Social Responsibility Disasters DonorsChoose Facebook Facebook Causes Flash Causes Fundraising Fundraising Nightmares Giving Pledge GlobalGiving Haiti Hillary Clinton Kiva Lilya Wagner Mario Morino Millennials Non-profit organization Nonprofit NonProfits Philanthropy Planned Giving Politics Ron Paul Skoll Social Actions Social Media Susan Carey Dempsey Susan Raymond Ph.D Tom Watson Twitter United Nations Women YouTube

Blogroll

Philanthropy News

Sites We Like

Copyright

onPhilanthropy and DotOrgJobs are published by CauseWired Communications, LLC - copyright 1999-2011, all rights reserved.

Webmaster