Donor intent underscored

People who make charitable donations for specific purposes expect nonprofits to use the funds accordingly, and many support punishing those who don’t, a new survey says.

More than nine in 10 respondents say spending money on projects not authorized by the donor is a “serious” matter, the survey by Zogby International says.

Almost three in four say they likely would stop supporting a charity that did not honor the donor’s intent in making a donation.

About the same number say nonprofits that violate donor intent “should be held legally or criminally liable for acting in a fraudulent manner,” the survey says.

Almost all respondents say honoring donor intent is part of the ethical duty of a nonprofit.

More than four in 10 Americans have made a donation to be used for a specific purpose, the survey says.

The survey was commissioned by William Robertson and his family.

Robertson is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit alleging that Princeton University misused $200 million from a fund set up by the Robertson Family.

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