The Corner

Whitney Ball Was a Champion of Liberty Par Excellence

Lovers of liberty mourn the death of Whitney Ball at the age of 52, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

We read in the Book of Judges that the prophetess Deborah held court under a palm tree, where the ancient Israelites would call on her for judgment. So, too, the party of liberty sat under the palm tree of Whitney, and called on her for judgment, inspiration, and leadership.

As founder, president, and CEO of Donors Trust, a donor-advised-fund sponsor and community foundation that serves donors committed to liberty, Whitney was one of America’s great entrepreneurs in conservative and libertarian philanthropy. Since its founding in 1999, Donors Trust has given an extraordinary $740 million to liberty-oriented causes. Under Whitney’s tireless, dedicated, and principled leadership, Donors Trust became an exceptional vehicle for philanthropists committed to protecting their donor intent and a highly flexible instrument for donors seeking to pool their funds for strategic purposes. Whitney was also one of those rare CEOs to combine entrepreneurial energy with a passionate focus on detail, a big-picture vision with careful attention to legal and financial compliance.

Whitney was formerly executive director of the Philanthropy Roundtable and she was beloved among our members. She helped Kim Dennis, our founding president, build our organization and create many of its distinctive products, including our Annual Meeting.

Whitney was an inspirational hero in her battle against the ravages of cancer. Guided by deep religious faith and optimism about the cause of freedom, she remained always professional, always in cheerful spirits, always thinking above all about her friends and family and the future of Donors Trust. All who knew her feel blessed to have worked with this remarkable woman of valor, entrepreneurial energy, principled leadership, loving kindness, and unstinting commitment to liberty.

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