Memo to File: Ask the Donor First

If your organization is in a serious cash crunch, digging into the endowment and selling assets are two options several organizations have explored. If you’re planning on the latter, make sure your donors are on board.

from The Wall Street Journal:

Brandeis Appears to Scale Back Plan to Sell Art

Jerry Fineberg, an art collector and former Rose chairman who gave $2 million to build a new Rose wing, noted that much of the value of the artwork resides in a relative handful of works, so Brandeis could still raise substantial funds by selling “only a limited number.”

Fred Hopengarten, a member of the Rose family who established the museum, said he was canvassing relatives to pursue legal options to oppose the Brandeis plan. Mr. Fineberg said he is consulting a lawyer and plans to ask for his big donation back and “give it to a real museum.”