Alternatives to Perpetuity: A Conversation Every Foundation Should Have

This Passages is aimed at new donors considering a limited lifespan for their foundation, existing foundations that have already set a closing date, or any family contemplating the question of perpetuity. Author Deanne Stone gives background on the perpetuity vs. spending down debate and discusses the motivations for considering an alternative to perpetuity. The paper then identifies the basic challenges that foundations often faces when looking to spend down their assets: redefining goals, changing investment and spending strategies, communicating with grantees and the public, preparing grantees to find replacement funds, anticipating staff needs, attending to legal requirements, and planning their legacies.