Foundation Archives

About this collection: This Content Collection features reports and articles of interest to foundations considering whether to establish archives to preserve their records, knowledge, and histories.

Curated By: Matthew La Rocque

Many Foundations at some point confront the question of what to leave behind and may choose to establish an archive. Some perpetual foundations have created archives that are continually updated, and the decision to archive has long been a consideration for foundations choosing limited life.

In this collection of reports and articles, professionals from across the field of philanthropy discuss the purpose of foundation archives, their various contents and uses, archival trends in the philanthropic sector, and approaches to the archival process.

Foundation Archives: Perspectives and Practices

The Atlantic Philanthropies and Its Archives: Limited Life, Enduring Legacy

Blog Post
In December 2016, The Atlantic Philanthropies made its final awards, becoming the largest limited life philanthropy to complete its grantmaking. The end of this aspect of its organizational life has been long-planned and purposeful – a fulfillment of donor Charles F. (“Chuck”) Feeney’s commitment to Giving While Living. Many of Atlantic’…
Morning on the beach. Magical sunrise over sea

A Date Certain: Lessons from Limited Life Foundations

Report
To learn more about limited life foundations’ decisions to spend down — and the ways in which they grapple with several important issues along their journey to pursuing their goals in a finite period of time — the Center for Effective Philanthropy conducted in-depth interviews with leaders of 11 limited life foundations. Resulting …

Transparency Talk: Archives

Article
Included here are perspectives from: Sally Crowley, communications director for The John R. Oishei Foundation Alan S. Divack, Senior Project Manager for Archives and Knowledge Management at the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program John E. Craig, Jr., is Executive Vice President & COO of The Commonwealth Fund Emily Keller, Editorial …

The Archives of U.S. Foundations: An Endangered Species

Report
Using data collected on the 300 largest U.S. foundations through a survey commissioned by The Commonwealth Fund in fall 2012, this report discusses the status of archiving in the foundation sector and recommends ways to improve policies and practices in an area that is often overlooked.

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