What Will Your Gift Be Used For?

I read an article recently about a man named Robert Morin.  Robert was a librarian with the University of New Hampshire.  Morin had a great love for books and great love for the student workers at the library.  He lived frugally and when he died last March he had accumulated $4 million in savings.  He left every penny of it to the University of New Hampshire.  Unfortunately, that appears to be where this wonderful story takes a hard turn.  There is now controversy swirling because of the way the gift is being spent.  Despite his great affinity for the library and books, only a small percentage of the gift, $100,000, has been allocated to that cause.  On the other hand, $1 million has been set aside to purchase a video scoreboard for the football stadium.  People who knew Robert believe the use of such a large sum on the football program is contrary to how he would have wanted the money spent.While the article doesn’t say, it seems that despite Robert’s generosity, he likely failed to designate how the gift was to be used.  As a donor you can designate both who you want your charitable gift go to and how it will be used.  Charitable giving can be a wonderful thing.  It can help greatly the institution and it can inspire others.  But, if you don’t take the time to work with the charity and plan how your gift will be used, it will be the priorities of others, not yours, that will rule the day.  Consider making a charitable gift as part of your estate planning, but be thoughtful about how you would like to see it used.