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Any lawyers out here who can tell me what this means (LGBT scholarship fund)?


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They're fixing up the document for my donation to the university to fund the LGBT scholarship, but I don't understand the 2nd paragraph. Does it mean they can unilaterally decide to use the money any way they want?

The payout from this fund shall support undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. It is my hope to support students who have experienced suffering or discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The fund will be administered by the UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, which will determine the amount and term of each awarded scholarship. The payment to establish this fund shall be made no later than December 31, 2021.

I understand that establishment and administration of the endowment will comply with current policies of The UCLA Foundation.  Although the endowment is intended to exist in perpetuity, I recognize that unforeseen circumstances may alter or remove the subject area from the campus academic plan.  In such an event, the Chancellor is authorized to redesignate the purpose of this endowment, after taking into consideration the designated purpose described in this gift agreement.
 

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Cool question. There may be talented barristers here on the forum. There may also be doctors, fireman, ballet teachers, actuaries, astronauts …or even Martians. But there’s no way to know which will steer you in the right direction. And their hourly might shock you!!!

Hard to believe that acquisition of enough money to fund scholarships didn’t, at some point, require prior legal counsel.

Call them, maybe? 

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37 minutes ago, jeezifonly said:

Cool question. There may be talented barristers here on the forum. There may also be doctors, fireman, ballet teachers, actuaries, astronauts …or even Martians. But there’s no way to know which will steer you in the right direction. And their hourly might shock you!!!

Hard to believe that acquisition of enough money to fund scholarships didn’t, at some point, require prior legal counsel.

Call them, maybe? 

I probably should contact one as soon as I get back home from Paradise tomorrow. I didn't anticipate this kind of language in the agreement. I was hoping someone here would be able to give some advice. Over the years, I've given a number of members free medical advice (often via PM, obviously). My partner "Chris" and I just did the Skyline Trail in Paradise (Mt. Rainier NP). I told him every day with him is Paradise, but this was one of the loveliest days of my life... 😍

image.png.155d5831e78794c40970fd933c25b243.png

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1 hour ago, Unicorn said:

Does it mean they can unilaterally decide to use the money any way they want?

I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t think it gives them 100% freedom but it comes damn close.

1 hour ago, Unicorn said:

They're fixing up the document for my donation…

Which means….the document will favor them completely.

1 hour ago, jeezifonly said:

Hard to believe that acquisition of enough money to fund scholarships didn’t, at some point, require prior legal counsel.

Call them, maybe?

Funny burn, but also sound advice. Anyone who signs a document drawn up by another party’s lawyers,
without having their own lawyers review it, is a moron. That’s just good sound business advice.

At the same time, I’ve learned that trying to control the world from beyond the grave is a pointless exercise.
Tell them what you want done with your money but give with an open hand. If you don’t trust them, all the 
lawyers and contracts in the world aren’t going to make them an honest person / institution. In that case,
find a more trustworthy home for your donation. 

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It definitely sounds like they can redesignate the funds at some point in time.  If this was my gift, I would request the paragraph to be stricken.  If the foundation is not agreeable to such removal, I would request that the decision to reallocate the funds be made by the foundation's board of direction rather than Chancellor.  

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1 hour ago, Unicorn said:

They're fixing up the document for my donation to the university to fund the LGBT scholarship, but I don't understand the 2nd paragraph. Does it mean they can unilaterally decide to use the money any way they want?

The payout from this fund shall support undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. It is my hope to support students who have experienced suffering or discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The fund will be administered by the UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, which will determine the amount and term of each awarded scholarship. The payment to establish this fund shall be made no later than December 31, 2021.

I understand that establishment and administration of the endowment will comply with current policies of The UCLA Foundation.  Although the endowment is intended to exist in perpetuity, I recognize that unforeseen circumstances may alter or remove the subject area from the campus academic plan.  In such an event, the Chancellor is authorized to redesignate the purpose of this endowment, after taking into consideration the designated purpose described in this gift agreement.
 

I am not a lawyer per se, but after watching Law and Order, Suits, and How to Get Away with Murder shows religiously, I would say I'm pretty qualified, no?

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I would consult a lawyer that specializes in trusts and estate planning. They would be familiar with gifts of this kind to institutions such as universities. 

I personally think making gifts to benefit specific classes of individuals in perpetuity does pose the problem that either the class at some point will no longer be socially relevant (eg. chimney sweeps in Victorian England) or the institution will no longer be serving the class you designate, for whatever reason that cannot be anticipated today (eg. America becomes a theocracy and outlaws homosexuality).

Can't happen? Look at Iran.

Perpetuity is an awful long time.

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This was the university's response to my inquiry (not home yet, haven't contacted an attorney yet):

The language you’ve inquired about is standard contingency language included in every gift agreement that will create a fund in perpetuity, such as an endowment. It is highly unlikely it will affect the endowed scholarship fund you are interested in. However, we have had issues with endowments that do not contain this language, and the original area or purpose no longer exists.

For example, in the 60s, a donor established an endowed scholarship for undergraduate students majoring in typing and/or secretarial work. UCLA no longer offers a typing/secretarial major/minor or credentials for those fields. Yet, we had an endowed fund that generated monies, but we cannot award the scholarships because the purpose no longer exists. With the help of the donor’s grandchildren, UCLA ultimately was able to petition the Superior Court of California to allow us to amend the gift purpose and have been able to award the scholarship since.

We have had several situations like this, and UCLA adopted this policy to protect the university from such a circumstance. In the highly improbable case that the area no longer exists, this language allows UCLA’s Chancellor to redesignate the fund while considering the donor’s original intent. I hope this will clarify the meaning of the contingency statement.

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What if no future students suffer as a result of discrimination due to orientation or sexual identity🥰🤭? What if no one who fits that description applies for the scholarship one year, or for several years? The pool of applicants might be pretty limited, and the school would be sitting on scholarships money it could not give out. As long as they don't give it to an avowed homophobe instead, it would make sense for them to award it to a needy student who might be an appropriate alternative, such as someone wanting to study sexual identity or discrimination without qualifying on the basis of being gay himself/herself/themself.

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1 hour ago, Lucky said:

I always advise posters not to get their medical diagnoses and information related therein from a message board. I see no difference with attorney advice.

Frankly if you have the money to donate, you have the money for a lawyer to make sure it goes your way. If not, lower the donation amount!

Or the JoeMendoza Provider Budget Community Service Fund is still very much up for donations.

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1 hour ago, Lucky said:

I always advise posters not to get their medical diagnoses and information related therein from a message board. I see no difference with attorney advice.

Frankly if you have the money to donate, you have the money for a lawyer to make sure it goes your way. If not, lower the donation amount!

I think this is sage advice. I weighed in with my opinions but also said consult a qualified lawyer. Not just any lawyer. Like in medicine, many lawyers specialize. But for a testamentary or charitable donation, speak to someone familiar with that area of law.

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1 hour ago, Charlie said:

What if no future students suffer as a result of discrimination due to orientation or sexual identity🥰🤭? What if no one who fits that description applies for the scholarship one year, or for several years? The pool of applicants might be pretty limited, and the school would be sitting on scholarships money it could not give out. As long as they don't give it to an avowed homophobe instead, it would make sense for them to award it to a needy student who might be an appropriate alternative, such as someone wanting to study sexual identity or discrimination without qualifying on the basis of being gay himself/herself/themself.

There's another thing to consider from the university's perspective. Since donations are charitable gifts eligible for a tax receipt, the school probably has to, like charitable trusts, disburse an amount each year from the fund. They probably can't just hang onto it until someone comes along in a later year. Not an expert here, but if to the parallel holds, they need to have the flexibility to disburse the funds in the future in accordance with changed circumstances.

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I think their language makes sense based on the explanation they gave you.

The only relevant question a lawyer knowledgeable in this area may be able to answer right now is whether that type of language is standard in that type of agreement. However, the key questions here are (A) can you live with that language and (B) if not, is UCLA willing to revise it? So I don't think I'd waste time and money consulting a specialized lawyer just yet.

Instead, I'd start by asking question B to UCLA. If they're not open to revising that clause, then you need to decide whether you want to accept their explanation and make your gift. If they are open to revising that clause, then you should think about what language you'd be willing to live with. Maybe you list alternative purposes for the scholarship in case the original purpose becomes moot (e.g., give it to people who have suffered because of 1) race discrimination, then 2) coming from a household with a family income under the poverty line, then 3) whatever the chancellor decides, taking into consideration the original purposes), maybe they should make an attempt to consult you before changing the scholarship's purpose if you're alive, etc.

And then, after you've worked through the considerations in the previous paragraph, maybe you'd benefit from working with a lawyer depending on how complex your revision to the clause would be.

Should I send you my bill in a PM? 🤑

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Latest response:

I'm happy to hear that you made it back safely. Thank you for your feedback. I spoke to several of my colleagues in both the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and Gift Policy. Please see our feedback below:

 

Process of predesignating an endowed scholarship fund:
The UCLA Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will try to award the funds every year. If the scholarship hasn't been awarded in five years, the development team alerts the Vice Provost to initiate a review.
The Vice Provost and their team will conduct an internal review to determine why the scholarship hasn't been awarded.
If the Vice Provost determines that the scholarship hasn't been awarded because the fund purpose is too restrictive, they will draft a justification to redesignate the fund.
The request goes to the UCLA Gift Policy for review to ensure that the funds adhere to the donor's wishes as closely as possible.
Once Gift Policy approves the request, it goes to the Vice-Chancellor of External Affairs for final review and approval.
Once the Vice-Chancellor of External Affairs reviews and approves the request, it goes to the Chancellor for signature and approval.
Note: Although the Chancellor will be the final approval, they will never initiate this review process or request a resignation. In every case, the request must come from the benefiting unit. The Vice Provost of the UCLA Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships would have to submit the request in your situation.
Other Options
My colleague in Gift Policy mentioned we could add to the language that would request that the Chancellor make an effort to contact you or your next of kin if we ever reached the unlikely case that we would need to redesignate the fund. The sentence would read similar to this, "In such an event, the Chancellor is authorized to redesignate the purpose of this endowment, after taking into consideration the designated purpose described in this gift agreement, and making a reasonable effort to contact the donor or their next of kin."
The second option is to provide us with an alternative area you would like to support in the unlikely event. For example, suppose we weren't able to award the scholarship for a number of years. In that case, you could elect to have the funds predesignated to support another area of your choosing, like undergraduate students in engineering, PreMed, social justice, etc.

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22 minutes ago, Unicorn said:

Latest response:

I'm happy to hear that you made it back safely. Thank you for your feedback. I spoke to several of my colleagues in both the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and Gift Policy. Please see our feedback below:

 

Process of predesignating an endowed scholarship fund:
The UCLA Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will try to award the funds every year. If the scholarship hasn't been awarded in five years, the development team alerts the Vice Provost to initiate a review.
The Vice Provost and their team will conduct an internal review to determine why the scholarship hasn't been awarded.
If the Vice Provost determines that the scholarship hasn't been awarded because the fund purpose is too restrictive, they will draft a justification to redesignate the fund.
The request goes to the UCLA Gift Policy for review to ensure that the funds adhere to the donor's wishes as closely as possible.
Once Gift Policy approves the request, it goes to the Vice-Chancellor of External Affairs for final review and approval.
Once the Vice-Chancellor of External Affairs reviews and approves the request, it goes to the Chancellor for signature and approval.
Note: Although the Chancellor will be the final approval, they will never initiate this review process or request a resignation. In every case, the request must come from the benefiting unit. The Vice Provost of the UCLA Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships would have to submit the request in your situation.
Other Options
My colleague in Gift Policy mentioned we could add to the language that would request that the Chancellor make an effort to contact you or your next of kin if we ever reached the unlikely case that we would need to redesignate the fund. The sentence would read similar to this, "In such an event, the Chancellor is authorized to redesignate the purpose of this endowment, after taking into consideration the designated purpose described in this gift agreement, and making a reasonable effort to contact the donor or their next of kin."
The second option is to provide us with an alternative area you would like to support in the unlikely event. For example, suppose we weren't able to award the scholarship for a number of years. In that case, you could elect to have the funds predesignated to support another area of your choosing, like undergraduate students in engineering, PreMed, social justice, etc.

Sounds like someone in their office is on this forum and read my previous post.

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2 hours ago, BonVivant said:

Have you considered the Point Foundation?


https://pointfoundation.org/

it is focused on awarding scholarships to LGBT students. Perhaps you can speak with them about designating the University? This way you know it will go to LGBT recipients. 

 I have given to them, but I think they award those scholarships based on academic merit or on their work in the LGBT community, rather than on having suffered hardship due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. I'm most interested in helping those who might have been kicked out of their houses or cut off from their families due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, even if they weren't the best in their class. Also, of course, I want to help UCLA students specifically. I recognize that many in the LGBT community weren't blessed to have been born in an accepting, atheist family like I was. 😉

Edited by Unicorn
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