Is Philanthropy Going to the Dogs? (September 5, 2008)

The Hudson Institute/The Chronicle of Philanthropy Panel Discussion

Is Philanthropy Going to the Dogs? (September 5, 2008)

Leona Helmsley left the bulk of her $8 billion dollar estate to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust with instructions that the entire trust was to be used for the care and welfare of dogs. This move has caused controversy in legal and philanthropic circles (see EoD News Archive for op-ed pieces). While the discussion can be interestingly framed in several ways, the bottom line comes down to whether or not the United States’ legal system recognizes an individual’s right to determine the final distribution of his/her assets.

At a recent event co-sponsored by the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a panel consisting of Professor Ray D. Madoff, Professor Leslie Lenkowsky, Georgetown University’s Pablo Eisenbert and Judge Robert Bork discussed “the fundamental questions Helmsley’s bequest raises about donor intent, social justice, and the public interest.” The Chronicle’s Stacy Palmer moderated the discussion.

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