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Report On Princeton Donor Intent Battle Available

From the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

To dissect the nuances of the battle between Princeton University and the Robertson family, the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal has collected a variety of opinions on it.

The bitter dispute centered on an endowment, known as the Robertson Foundation, that supports the university’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The endowment was established in 1961 by Charles and Marie Robertson. William Robertson, their son, and other family members sued the university in 2002, saying the university had not adhered to the terms of the gift. . . .

The Bradley Center asked about a dozen nonprofit thinkers to discuss what the fight means for donors and the recipients of their gifts — and the opinions differ greatly.

From the Neal Freeman report published by the Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal:

At the heart of every charitable contribution is the concept of trust—trust by the donor that the grantee will do what he has agreed to do. If that trust is allowed to erode, if the donor can no longer rely on the grantee’s assurance, then charitable contributions will decline and the civil society they sustain will decline along with them. If that were to happen—if the private, voluntary, civil society that Tocqueville first acclaimed, and that the Bradley Center still celebrates, were to wither away—America would abandon one of its defining national traits. Absent a vibrant civil society, only government would be left to fill the social vacuum and the America of tomorrow would come to look very much like the Europe of today.

Full report here. (pdf)

Via @Philanthropy.


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