Beldon Fund Lessons and Tips for Spending Out

FavoriteThe Beldon Fund’s ten-year experience with spending out while seeking to accomplish an ambitious mission yielded a range of useful lessons that we believe are applicable more broadly. They cover the practical nuts and bolts of putting a foundation on a spend-out course as well as specific tips on effective program strategies to achieve impact.

Giving While Living: The Beldon Fund Spend-Out Story

FavoriteThis 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. 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. Available for download at FOLIO, a project of the Foundation Center and the IUPUI University Library’s Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives,  

Beldon Fund Final Impact Assessment

FavoriteThis final impact assessment provides an inventory of Beldon’s legacy, five years after its grantmaking ended. It tells the story of a foundation that brought innovative ideas to its grantees, built capacity and infrastructure, and planted seeds that continue to bear fruit. As a spend-out foundation, it struggled with challenges that other spend outs share, and the lessons learned from this assessment are intended to help others embarking on similar paths.

Beldon Fund Evaluating Impact

FavoriteThe Beldon Fund relied heavily on independent external evaluations to make early and mid-course corrections to our program strategies and to develop benchmarks to measure progress. EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS Each assessment includes a summary of key findings as well as the full report. Evaluation of Beldon’s Program Strategies PDF A qualitative evaluation, based on confidential interviews, of the impact of our program strategies. Beldon Grantee Perception Report PDF Anonymous survey of Beldon grantees. Beldon Grant Applicant Perception Report PDF Anonymous survey of Beldon grant applicants. EVALUATION BENCHMARKS Evaluating Policy Advocacy Grant-Making Strategies

Beldon Fund Programs and Strategies

FavoriteBELDON’S GRANT MAKING PROGRAMS Beldon made long-term grants in two program areas: Key States and Human Health and the Environment. A third program, the Discretionary Fund, allowed the foundation to take quick advantage of policy opportunities or respond to new environmental threats. It also provided a way to fund cross-program advocacy tools and activities. GRANT MAKING STRATEGIES With only ten years to help environmental advocates shift from playing defense to positioning themselves to win policy victories, Beldon developed three main strategies: Build Capacity and Clout Support Civic Engagement Broaden the Base of Support GRANT MAKING PRINCIPLES Beldon’s program work was guided Read more