Regulating Egoism in Perpetuity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


While ordinary trusts are time-limited, the charitable foundation lasts forever. It is, in consequence, a perpetual legal vehicle through which a donor might seek to egoistically project her character and values into the future after her death. Unfortunately, that self-serving drive leads to bad charity, causing waste, as it crowds out higher social utility – or altruistic – uses of capital. Through attention to the concept of egoism, as it has developed in contemporary donative economics (‘egoistic theory’),this chapter explores the nature of the motivation to create perpetual foundations, and, flowing from that theorisation, it then critically develops a policy justification for the protection of the donor’s plans (plan-protection), alongside development of a legal-conceptual method for the utility-orientated reform of foundations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDebates in Charity Law
EditorsJohn Picton, Jennifer Sigafoos
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherHart Publishing
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781509926848, 9781509926855
ISBN (Print)9781509926831
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2020


  • charity
  • egoism
  • perpetuity
  • cy-pres


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