1200 W Washington St
December 7, 2023
Integrating Ethics into the Business of Philanthropy
Presented by Doug White
What if we could do it over again? Would we make the same assumptions? Would we make the same promises? Although most planned gifts go smoothly, the ones that don’t are the ones we – and our donors – hear about, and it behooves us to know to ask the right questions, and answer them, before a situation gets out of hand. In this session, after a general introduction to ethical decision-making, we will, using the principles in that introduction, interactively discuss – and perhaps debate – examples. There have been numerous instances over the years where donors have become dissatisfied with how their gifts are being stewarded. As well, charities have at times found themselves in a bind over their association with some donors. In this presentation, Doug White will examine actual examples of gifts that have gone wrong and suggest steps charities can take to ensure that gifts are both established and stewarded properly.
Doug White is a long-time leader in the nation’s philanthropic community. He is an author and an advisor to nonprofit organizations and philanthropists. He is the former Director of Columbia University’s Master of Science in Fundraising Management program, where he also taught board governance, ethics and fundraising. Doug has published five books: “The Art of Planned Giving,” “Charity on Trial,” “The Nonprofit Challenge,” “Abusing Donor Intent,” and “Wounded Charity.” “Wounded Charity,” published in 2019, analyzes the allegations of mismanagement made in January 2016 against Wounded Warrior Project. “Abusing Donor Intent,” published in 2014, chronicles the historic lawsuit brought against Princeton University by the children of Charles and Marie Robertson, the couple who donated $35 million in 1961 to endow the graduate program at the Woodrow Wilson School. Doug works with select organizations on ethical decision-making, board governance, and fundraising, as well as with individual philanthropists who want to see their gifts used most effectively. He writes the ethics column for the National Capital Gift Planning Council (Washington, DC); in 2002 the council presented Doug with its Distinguished Service Award. Doug is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds a Certificate in “Justice: Moral and Political Philosophy” from Harvard University.