Court Rules NJ Charities Must Follow Donor’s Wishes or Return Money

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Court Rules NJ Charities Must Follow Donor’s Wishes or Return Money

by Christine M. Vanek on August 21, 2013

The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court recently clarified what happens

when a charity receives a donation slated for a particular mission and then cannot fulfill

the purpose of the gift. In these cases, the decision in Adler v. SAVE is clear —charities

must return the funds.

The Facts of the Case

SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals, is a non-profit animal shelter located in the

greater Princeton area. Bernard and Jeanne Adler, who were animal lovers and long-time supporters of the shelter, donated $50,000 towards a capital building campaign that sought to construct a new facility. The Alders maintain that their charitable gift was

intended to create two rooms dedicated to the care of large dogs and elderly cats, for

which the Adlers would also receive naming rights. The two sides never discussed what

would happen if SAVE decided not to construct the planned facility.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Christine Vanek, Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC | Attorney Advertising

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