In Defense of Endowments and Legacy Giving

Responding to an op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy earlier this week in which Professor Lila Corwin Berman sharply criticized the Jewish Future Pledge (co-founded by JFN members Mike Leven and Amy Holtz), JFN President and CEO Andrés Spokoiny published a piece on the critical role legacy giving and endowments play. In addition to praising the Jewish Future Pledge, his piece also noted the accomplishments of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation's Life & Legacy program.

Read the full piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Download a PDF of the article.

Spokoiny writes:

"In her op-ed this week in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Lila Corwin Berman singled out the Jewish Future Pledge for condemnation, depicting as almost sinister its effort to convince Jewish individuals to set money aside for future Jewish needs. Claiming that this project betrays a “mistrust in the future,” she described the pledge as a mechanism for wealthy individuals to “leverage this inequality to maintain control, even long after they are gone.”

But endowments and donor-advised funds are not some nefarious plot for concentrating wealth in the hands of the few or of controlling the world from one’s grave. In fact, they play a positive role in helping nonprofits — and the many people who depend on them — weather crises such as Covid-19."

Read the full piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Watch this JFN conference session about the Jewish Future Pledge.

Listen to Andres Spokoiny and Lila Corwin Berman on JFN's "What Gives?" Jewish philanthropy podcast.