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    November 17, 2008

    "Donor Advising, Research & Educational Services"
    Formed to Help Donors and Their Advisers
    across Charitable Interest Areas


          INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Frederic J. Fransen, the founder of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education (CEHE), announced today the formation of DA•R•ES - Donor Advising, Research & Educational Services, LLC - to expand the range of donor advisory services formerly provided by CEHE.
          CEHE was established in 2007 to assist donors seeking to improve higher education through philanthropic giving. "One of its key functions was to provide tailored philanthropic advisory services and the demand for these services greatly exceeded our expectations," Fransen said. "By transferring the donor advisory services function to DA•R•ES, which was formed for this single purpose, we will be able to handle the high demand for these services while CEHE continues its other functions."
          Since opening its doors last fall, CEHE has been contacted by philanthropists from all over the country seeking assistance with tens of millions of dollars in major gifts, Fransen said. "All of these donors have had two other concerns: They want the intent of their donations honored and they want their gifts to accomplish something, rather than just enrich the coffers of the recipient organization."
          Fransen said DA•R•ES will focus on helping donors transform philanthropy through strategic giving and will expand beyond higher education to other areas of charitable giving, such as medical research and the arts. DA•R•ES staff will work with philanthropists and their financial and legal advisers to design gifts that provide donors with the greatest possible return on their charitable investments. This includes developing grant agreements, evaluating existing or planned grant agreements; creating and overseeing the implementation of strategic philanthropy plans, including ongoing oversight; and representing philanthropists when negotiating gifts with charities.
          "I'm pleased to see DA•R•ES build upon CEHE's successes," said Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot and chairman of The Marcus Foundation. "This demonstrates that donors are becoming much more engaged with the charities they support and that donor involvement is key to ensuring accountability and desirable outcomes."
          Art Pope, chairman of the John William Pope Foundation, concurred. "It is imperative that donors who have specific charitable objectives in mind be diligent in structuring and overseeing their gifts," he said. "A national organization like DA•R•ES will be indispensable in helping them do so."
          "The increase in philanthropic entrepreneurs and the seeming pervasiveness of donor-intent controversies have created the need for a venture like DA•R•ES," Fransen explained. "Donors, as they should, want to become more directly and personally involved in planning, executing and overseeing their charitable gifts. With DA•R•ES, we will be in a position to help them."