I thought you would be interested the story, “Testing Donor’s Intent, 350 Years Later” from The Wall Street Journal.I have taken a couple of months off from writing my blog. Some of you have asked about my health, attitude, etc. I assure you all is fine. It took a violation of donor intent, now over 350 years old to awaken my writing about philanthropy again.I find myself a bit frustrated with how philanthropy, fundraising and nonprofits are being characterized and managed today. My pronouncements over a year ago about the threats on the charitable deduction are becoming more real every day. Meanwhile, many nonprofit leaders are surprised that the promises of “it won’t happen” continue to be wiped away.My instinct that fundraisers and nonprofits want to raise money get brushed aside in an argument about why rich people have money and have the right to say where it goes.Now this issue has reared its head in Ipswichip, Massachusetts 350 years later.I have written and spoken about fulfilling donor intent for years. Read the article, think about William Payne and what the best ways to fulfill his intent are. Was his intent to preserve the land or help the school? Did he believe the best way to preserve the schools was to preserve the land? Have the trustees of the land trust operated appropriately? And by the way, who is in charge of watching this? Politically ambitious attorney generals?What would you decide about this matter and more importantly, why?It’s not a matter of what you or any other person would have done if you were William Payne. Even from the grave, it is about what he wanted.That’s why it’s called donor intent.
The Most Influential ‘Living Person’ in Philanthropy
Robert F. Hartsook Receives Honorary Doctorate of Business
Plymouth University, United Kingdom
Bob Hartsook was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration by Plymouth University in Plymouth, England. The University described Bob as: “arguably the most influential living person improving the philanthropic donor experience.” Such global affirmation appropriately recognizes Bob and uniquely distinguishes Hartsook as the world’s fundraising counsel.”
Plymouth University honors individuals who have achieved great distinction in their professional lives and who have made contributions to society at large. In recognizing Bob Hartsook’s impressive achievements, the University has highlighted his service to the field of philanthropy, his promotion of academic study and research and his personal commitment to growing philanthropy around the world. Go here to learn more and view videos from this event.
Pictured: Karin Cox, Hartsook Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer; Julian Chaudhuri, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience; Bob Hartsook; Adrian Sargeant, Professor of Fundraising at Plymouth University and the Director of the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy; Jen Shang, Philanthropic Psychologist and Director of Research at the University of Plymouth Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy; Matthew J. Beem, Hartsook President and CEO.