Beldon’s decision to establish a clear end date set the course for the foundation’s strategy and operations. Decisions about investment, staffing, programs, and preparing grantees for Beldon’s exit all flowed from the simple fact that an immutable closing date existed on the horizon.
This monograph, “Giving While Living: The Beldon Fund Spend-Out Story” PDF, examines how Beldon handled the practical implications of putting the foundation on a ten-year spend-out course while seeking to accomplish an ambitious mission. Some of the questions we sought to answer were: How does having a sunset date affect program strategy? What is the appropriate way to staff a spend-out foundation? How do you manage assets? And how do you prepare grantees for the foundation’s exit?
Though it draws on historical materials – reports, strategy papers, financial models, written policies and external evaluations – the context and insights come from interviews with key staff members, grantees, John Hunting, and board members.
Includes chapters on:
- Building a Financial Strategy for Spend Out
- Operations—Staffing for Spend Out and Preparing to Close the Doors
- Developing a Program Strategy
- Preparing Grantees to Thrive After You’re Gone
While much of the story is unique to Beldon, many of the lessons and themes are applicable more broadly. We believe other philanthropists, both current and prospective, will find Beldon’s experience instructive as they consider whether or not spending out – or spending more – is the right path for them.
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