September 5, 2008, 12:00 - 2:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
Transcript Now Available! Click here (PDF format, 33 pages, 215 KB)
A complete, edited transcript is now available of the panel discussion on September 5 co-hosted by Hudson Institute's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, entitled:
Is Philanthropy Going to the Dogs?
Friday, September 5, 2008 - 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.
When Leona Helmsley died in August 2007, she left all but a few million dollars of her perhaps $8 billion estate to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, making it easily one of America’s largest foundations. She also left a brief document indicating that the entire trust be used for the care and welfare of dogs. “The trustees recently hired a philanthropic advisory service to help them figure out a way to remain true to Mrs. Helmsley’s intentions while at the same time pursuing broader charitable goals with her foundation,” reported the New York Times (“Helmsley Left Dogs Billions in Her Will,” July 2).
“If it were only a matter of Leona Helmsley wasting her money, no one would need to care. But she is wasting ours, too,” wrote Boston College Law School professor Ray Madoff in a July 9 New York Times op-ed (see "Background Reading," below). Rather than pay estate taxes of $3.6 billion to the government, Helmsley has stipulated that the money be held in trust for perpetuity. Madoff argues in her op-ed that “the law should not encourage people to tie up their resources – and ours – for all time.”
Palmer, Madoff, Schambra, Lenkowsky, Eisenberg
Indiana University professor of public affairs and philanthropic studies Leslie Lenkowsky suggests that Helmsley may have been trying to support animal welfare as a heretofore neglected charitable cause compared to, say, child welfare – and that Congress and the American people give her that right. “In a society that values individual rights, philanthropy gives those with such differing views opportunities to act on them constructively, regardless of what others may think,” he wrote in the Chronicle of Philanthropy's August 21 issue (see "Background Reading," below).
On Friday, September 5, Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal and The Chronicle of Philanthropy hosted Professors Madoff and Lenkowsky, along with Georgetown University’s Pablo Eisenberg and Hudson Institute’s Judge Robert Bork to discuss the fundamental questions Helmsley’s bequest raises about donor intent, social justice, and the public interest. The Chronicle’s Stacy Palmer moderated the discussion.
Program and Panel
The event transcript was prepared from an audio recording and edited by Krista Shaffer. To request further information on this event or the Bradley Center, please call (202) 974-2424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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