Limited Life Foundations: Motivations, experiences, and strategies

Posted on February 3, 2009 by Francie Ostrower

I started the foundation in order to do what I wanted. . . . Twenty-five years after I’m gone, the foundation will terminate.” The donor who said this describes himself as “not super-conventional.” His decision to limit his foundation’s life is indeed an unconventional one. Most foundations are established in perpetuity, but the limited life option is starting to attract more attention, including media coverage of high profile examples of foundation closures. A major gap in the literature on philanthropy, however, is the absence of research on the motivations, strategies, and experiences associated with the decision to sunset. Consequently, little information is available to assist donors, foundation trustees, and staff wishing to consider and/or implement a plan to sunset… Read More

Asset Building and Low-Income Families

Posted on August 16, 2008 by Michael Sherraden, Signe-Mary McKernan

Low-income families have scant savings to cushion a job loss or illness, and can find economic mobility impossible without funds to invest in education, homes, or businesses. And though a lack of resources leaves such families vulnerable, income-support programs are often closed to those with a bit of savings or even a car. Considering welfare-to-work reforms, the increasingly advanced skill… Read More

A New Safety Net for Low-Income Families

Posted on July 22, 2008 by Ajay Chaudry, Margaret Simms, Sheila R. Zedlewski

America’s low-income working families are struggling to get by, too often forced to make impossible choices among food, housing, and health care.. Government safety nets were reformed in the mid-1990s with the promise that work would pay. But that promise remains unfulfilled for many families. These essays explore the challenges these vulnerable households face and suggest ways to protect them… Read More