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An Appreciation: Whitney Ball

by Pete Sepp / /

She wasn’t an elected office holder seeking the media limelight, or an academic toiling over the minutiae of some public policy issue. Yet, Whitney Ball had a more powerful and positive impact for the cause of limited government than many of personalities with whom fiscal conservatives outside the Beltway may be familiar.

Her far too early departure from this world this week, after a truly brave struggle with cancer, leaves the greatest loss to be absorbed by her family, including her parents. Yet even as we grieve we also fondly remember.

To so many people in so many organizations (including National Taxpayers Union Foundation), she has left an enduring legacy of optimism and purposeful direction. Read more about her here.

Whitney Ball is best known in conservative circles as the guiding light and co-founder of Donors Trust, a truly revolutionary organization that advised patriotic Americans who wanted to provide resources that would help the nation rediscover and nurture its conservative roots. Thanks to her vision and tireless effort, many fledgling groups as well as stalwarts of the movement had the wherewithal to make tremendous gains on behalf of economic freedom. She also served as Executive Director of the Philanthropy Roundtable, a forum committed to excellence in philanthropy from the conservative perspective.

I was first introduced to Whitney Ball about a decade and a half ago, when she was invited to speak at our National Taxpayers Conference, a gathering for citizens seeking to change the fiscal direction of government in their own backyards. From her first appearance at our conference and several others to follow, she provided not only inspiration but practical take-home advice on developing financial support, grassroots energy, and principled leadership for the men and women hoping to make a difference at the state and local level. She always received standing ovations for her words, but also won consistent accolades for her deeds – by selflessly offering her time and talent to our conference attendees long after the sessions ended and the real work began.

Although she passed away at the age of 52, Whitney Ball gave a huge measure of wisdom to loved ones, colleagues, and oftentimes complete strangers who were new to our movement. It is up to all of us to carry on her humanitarian ethic for liberty.