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Good v. Good

We are in the early stages of a battle of the good guys against the good guys, and it isn't pretty.

The fight is about donor intent--the idea that the mostly rich people who give their money away should have the right to say how it is used. At first glance this does not seem to form the basis of a fight. After all, we expect the recipients of the money to be grateful and the donors to give to people they want to benefit. Ah, but human behavior is a complex thing. So is the law, or lack of it, and therein lies the rub. Liberalism versus conservatism also plays a role in the -struggle.

A non-education example they cite is the Ford Foundation, which now supports programs and activities the conservative Henry Ford would never have put his name to. The result may be fewer perpetual foundations whose missions can evolve in ways the founding donors may dislike. The wealthy may prefer to "spend out" their foundations while they're still alive or require such spend-outs within 20 or 30 years of their deaths, when enough of their friends and relatives are still alive to keep tabs on their beneficiaries.


Bruce D. Collins

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