Museums in Florida face a myriad of restrictions when it comes to accepting donations designated for specific purposes per the donor’s wishes. These restrictions, though intended to respect the intent of the benefactors, often pose operational challenges for the institutions. Museums must adhere to the stipulations outlined in the donation agreement, limiting their flexibility to address emerging needs or opportunities.

One notable instance involves the Orlando Museum of Art, which in the midst of a financial crisis has asked a Florida Court to adjust a restriction on a donor’s bequest. This case has sparked a broader debate about the balance between donor intent and institutional autonomy. Read the opinion of Harper Meyer Partner Clarissa Rodriguez as part of The New York Times story on this case that delves deeper into the arguments for and against amending such restrictions.

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