Thursday, September 20, 2007

Donors May Get Pickier with Gifts to Colleges

A group of wealthy philanthropists is establishing a nonprofit organization to advise donors on how to attach legally enforceable conditions on gifts to their alma maters.

The new Indianapolis-based Center for Excellence in Higher Education is backed by three foundations, those of Bernard Marcus (Home Depot's founder), the Sir John Templeton Foundation, and the John William Pope Foundation.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Public Confidence in Charities Rebounds Slightly

Public confidence in U.S. charities has risen slightly since Sept. 11, 2001, but still has not returned to the level of trust experienced before that day, according to a new survey.
Confidence in Charitable Organizations, 2006, conducted by the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. 69 percent of Americans expressed a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in charities. While the responses suggest that public confidence is beginning to rebound, the current level of trust is still dwarfed by the 90 percent of respondents who expressed a great deal of trust in charities pre-Sept. 11. Whether the current numbers reflect a solid, long-term increase in public confidence is unclear. The survey suggests that the 2006 figures may indicate “a significant turning point” as the nation neared the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Top 10 Estate Planning Mistakes

An estate plan will help you create a coordinated strategy for conserving the assets you accumulate during your lifetime, distribute them according to your wishes at the time of your death, and provide for any needed funding to meet family needs and other special considerations -- such as philanthropic interests.

To avoid some common pitfalls, Morningstar reviews the top 10 estate planning mistakes.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Biggest Week in the History of Charitable Giving?

Is it hyperbolic to consider that this past week has probably been among the most significant in the philanthropic world? Not since 1913 when John D. Rockefeller established his foundation has such an important series of events taken place in such a short span of time:

  • Bill Gates announces that he will step down from day-to-day operations at Microsoft to devote his attention to his private foundation -- the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- the largest private foundation in the world. He is only 50 years old, and I do not think it is too presumptious to think that his influence as head of the foundation will not only equal, but may even eclipse his tenure at Microsoft.
  • Warren Buffet makes an unprecedented move of pledging $30 billion of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His munificence is only exceeded by his magnamity. He could have created the second largest private foundation in the world overnight. Instead he only makes the biggest foundation that much bigger, and only asks for a board seat. His total commitment of $37 billion of his personal fortune is the largest gift to charity in history.
  • Sandy Weill makes a "deal with God" and pledges to give his estimated $1.4 billion fortune away to charity.
  • And Americans gave away $260 billion away in 2005, a record high, up 6.1% from 2004.


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Rockefellers Celebrate Three Centuries of Philanthropy

The Rockefeller family has sustained a prominent and creative presence in philanthropy for more than 120 years and six generations. A new monograph, based on a series of discussions and presentations by family members and associates explains how they have been able to nurture the family's charitable pursuits across decades. Entitled, An Entrepreneurial Spirit: Three Centuries of Rockefeller Philanthropy, the publication is available from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (212-812-4330).