Foundations have several ways of deciding whether to operate forever or to put all their resources to work in a limited time. Most of the rationales have to do either with the founder’s wishes (some want to take the long view and leave a perpetual legacy, some prefer to give while they’re alive or for just a short time after their death) or else with the nature of the problems they want to address (curing a disease right now vs. exploring medical frontiers far into the future).
Sixteen years ago, William P. Ryan, a philanthropy scholar and consultant, wrote an epochally influential article in the Harvard Business Review, with co-authors Christine W. Letts and Alan Grossman, called “Virtuous Capital: What Foundations Can Learn from Venture Capitalists.” One early and enthusiastic reader of that article was Michael Bailin, then president of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.
Leadership changes, strategic reviews, the closing of some programs and a fresh emphasis on others — all these are part of the normal cycle at just about any foundation. They may feel momentous at the time, but at most foundations, where endowments last indefinitely, the drama soon fades and life returns to normal. There’s always time to reconsider decisions, correct mistakes, try a fresh approach.
The Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society is pleased to announce the publication of Changing the Game: Civic Leadership at The Boston Foundation, 2001-2012, by Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of The Boston Foundation.
On June 6-7, 2012, the Center hosted a meeting in Washington D.C. for representatives of foundations that are in the process of spending down their assets.
Professor Joel L. Fleishman's fourth annual report on spend-down at the AVI CHAI Foundation chronicles a period of exciting, promising, and sustained—indeed, reassuring—action and direction. Highlights of the year are summarized region-by-region.
|Katz Nonprofits NGOs Philanthropy Spring11.pdf||106.61 KB|
This course examines policy issues at international, national, and local levels. It attempts to provide groundwork approaches to nonprofits, NGOs, and philanthropy. The emphasis is on how philanthropy, nonprofit, and NGO sectors operate, their niche alongside private and public sectors, revenue sources, impact on society, and converse effects of society and its institutions; the policy making process.
For more than four decades, the Ford Foundation has supported American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities as they shape their visions for the future. Continuing this collaborative work, the foundation launched the Indigenous Knowledge and Expressive Culture grant-making initiative in 2003. Led by Program Officer Elizabeth Theobald Richards, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, this work enhanced the foundation’s longstanding commitment in Indian Country with a specific focus on supporting artistic and cultural expression.