Perpetuity or limited lifespan: How do family foundations decide?

“In recent years, foundation donors and leaders have engaged in an increasing number of conversations on the phenomenon of foundation “spenddown,”or limited lifespan. These discussions have been spurred by the heightened visibility of individual philanthropists who have announced their intention to limit their foundation’s lifespan and by the fact that many family foundations created in the 1980s and 1990s are now facing a transition in leadership that leads them to consider foundation lifespan options that may be open to them.”

 

Presents findings on family foundations’ choices to spend down or to exist in perpetuity and the factors involved, including foundation assets, age, and presence of a living founder. Explores potential effects of the economic crisis on lifespan planning.