The Daniels Fund

John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard)



Case Study Sector


Bill Daniels was a larger-than-life figure in the state of Colorado whose careers spanned the worlds of professional sports, business, politics, and the military. When the cable television magnate died in March of 2000, he left his charitable foundation in the hands of a board of directors—comprising friends and family members—whom he had personally selected. The new billion-dollar foundation became the largest in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States, and with that came tremendous responsibilities. This case documents the early years of the charitable foundation that eventually came to be known as the Daniels Fund, beginning with Daniels’ initial planning for the foundation. The story of the Daniels Fund raises questions about philanthropic legacy as well as the challenges facing individuals tasked with carrying out a founder’s legacy.



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