"The Girl Scouts and the Return of the Completed Donation"

It sounds like it could be the title of a 1960’s-era teen mystery novel, and it’s no wonder the story went viral. It had everything: schoolgirls excited about summer camp, an angel donor who turned into a Scrooge, Caitlyn Jenner, thin mint cookies, and a happy-ending, emergency crowdfunding campaign that quickly raised 3 times the amount of a lost contribution. You’ve probably heard about it, too. The Girls Scouts of Read More

"We’re Very Sorry For Your Loss."

The eldest son of the late philanthropist turned his attention to the large stack of mail just pushed through the door slot. It had become a comforting ritual in recent afternoons. The top item was an elegant Hallmark card from one of the old gentleman’s favorite local charities. Below the printed message of condolence was a thoughtful, handwritten note: “We’re very sorry for your loss. Your father was a pillar of Read More

What if a Donor Threatens to Renege on a Pledge?

At the end of our post on charitable pledges (“What, Exactly, Is a Pledge?”), we posed the question: “What if an organization’s mission or activities change before an entire pledge is paid. Can the donor revoke a pledge based on changed circumstances? This is Not A Hypothetical Problem When a donor makes a pledge, and then threatens to back out, the underlying dynamic is a often a tug-of-war for control over the Read More