HOW DO I PRESERVE MY DONOR INTENT?

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CASE STUDY

Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for donors’ gifts to be used for purposes other than those they intended. Organizations sometimes stray from their missions—or go out of business. Changes in leadership and financial circumstances can erode donor intent. Through the ways in which you structure your giving, and through careful planning, you can ensure that your contributions are used in the way that you want over time.

MARION AND HENRY BLOCH FAMILY FOUNDATION:

Henry Bloch founded the tax preparation company H&R Bloch with his brother Richard in 1955. He has been active in philanthropy in his hometown of Kansas City for decades. With his wife Marion, he recently founded the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation as a vehicle for his giving. Recognizing that civic renewal begins at home and that the quality of life in a city often depends upon its philanthropies, the Blochs dedicated the entirety of their foundation’s assets to the greater Kansas City area.

Henry Bloch had heard of other foundations tragically drifting away from their donor’s vision over time, and of others where rifts developed among the donor’s friends and family. Bloch wanted to prevent his own foundation from suffering a similar fate. After reading American Philanthropic founding partner Jeff Cain’s guidebook Protecting Donor Intent, he realized that there were many scenarios and possibilities the foundation needed to plan for. What if foundation assets outgrew the original mission? What would happen if a current grantee changed its mission? How could the foundation ensure that future directors shared its philosophical values?

American Philanthropic was brought on board to complete a comprehensive donor intent audit for the Marion and Henry Bloch Foundation. We pored over the foundation’s giving history, founding documents, legal documents, and financial arrangements to assess their suitability in preserving donor intent. We then visited the foundation’s offices in Kansas City to personally interview staff and board members. Finally, we delivered a 66-page report of analysis and recommendations for ensuring that the Blochs’ philanthropic intent would be honored in all of the foundation’s activities over time.

RELATED SERVICES:

  • Daylong consultation on the principles of effective philanthropy.
  • Strategic goal-setting.
  • Donor-intent audits.
  • Assistance securing or recovering donor intent.
  • Analysis and improvement of giving impact.