In typical philanthropic scenarios, donors want to make gifts, and charities want to receive them. It doesn’t sound like there should be much to argue about. But, when it comes to the mechanics of formalizing an agreement to make a gift to a charity, there are always two perspectives that need to be taken into account: the donor’s and the charity’s. The donor may want to make a gift with strings attached, and the charity wants to avoid potentially harmful gifts (for example, one from an infamous individual). Three articles this month deal with different aspects of what can turn into a thorny situation. In “The Elements of a Good Gift Acceptance Policy,” p. 12, Jonathan G. Tidd focuses on how a charity can create a policy for accepting gifts that will help it stay out of trouble when dealing with donors. In “Negotiating a Transformational Gift,” p. 27, Christopher P. Woehrle uses a sample case study to illustrate the back and forth that goes on between the donor and the charity when a gift is offered. And, in “How to Create a Well-Designed Gift Agreement,” Warren K. Racusin, p. 40, provides sample language that can help bridge the gap between the donor’s and charity’s differing goals.
In covering philanthropy in Trusts & Estates, we rely a lot on the advice and expertise of the chair of our Philanthropy Committee, Robert F. Sharpe, Jr. It seems like we aren’t the only ones who appreciate him. On Oct. 24, 2019, the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York will be honoring Robert with its Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contributions to the field of planned giving. We offer our hearty congratulations to Robert on this honor and hope that he continues to share his wisdom with us.