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Acceptance of a Restricted Bequest: Ethical Considerations

Ellen Lippman,Teri Grimmer
January 1, 2017
North America
Strategy & General Management, Ethics & Social Justice
3 pages
nonprofit, bequest, restricted donation, ethics, principal
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.73)
Average rating: 

Donald and Mildred Othmer were long-time supporters of Long Island College Hospital. Their wills directed that approximately one-fifth of their $730 million estate was to be given to the hospital; the principal was to remain restricted with only the interest available for general use. However, by the time of the Othmers’ deaths, the ability of the hospital to maintain that restriction was significantly in doubt. Should the board accept the bequest?

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Evaluate the ethical considerations for accepting a restricted gift to a nonprofit.
  2. Determine the legal obligations of individuals serving on a board of a nonprofit.
  3. Develop criteria for a gift acceptance policy for a nonprofit organization.
  4. Recommend whether an organization should accept or reject a restricted gift.