Coming to a close: Lessons from two spend down family foundations
Board members, staff, advisors, and donors in family philanthropy.
If your foundation decided to spend down and cease operations in a defined period of time, what might the process look like? It’s a question more family foundation boards are facing, as entrepreneurs pursue philanthropy the way they conducted business – with an exit plan in mind. This webinar will feature two prominent family foundations that have recently completed the final steps of the sunset process. Leaders from the Orfalea Foundation and the Noyce Foundation will share lessons learned and real experiences of how sunsetting altered the foundation’s culture and brought new focus to their respective quests for demonstrable change in the communities and causes they served.
Ann S. Bowers is the Chair of the Board and the co-founding trustee of the Noyce Foundation, which focused on improving math and science instruction and learning in public schools. Previously, her career was in human resource management in California's Silicon Valley. She was the first Director of Personnel for Intel Corporation and the first Vice President of Human Resources for Apple Computer. In both of these high-growth start-up companies and in her consulting practice, she created and implemented the worldwide human resources policies and practices that fostered the growth of organizational excellence. Ann is a Trustee Emerita and Presidential Councillor at Cornell University, and is chair of the Silicon Valley advisors committee for Cornell. She received a B. A. from Cornell University and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Santa Clara.
Catherine Brozowski is the President of Giving Matters, a consulting firm that manages grantmaking and administration for charitable foundations. Catherine was Vice President at the Orfalea Foundation for eight years, where she managed the foundation’s Education portfolio, and oversaw Operations, Finance and Human Resources, including during their planned sunset. She has also served as Vice President of Programs at the Santa Barbara Foundation, and Corporate Giving Manager for Washington Mutual. She currently serves on the Board of the Eleos Foundation, Community Environmental Council, and as an Advisory Board Member of REACH, a program of Wilderness Youth Project. Catherine holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and completed her Master’s of Public Administration (M.P.A.) with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington in 1997.
Lois Mitchell has extensive experience directing philanthropic initiatives, navigating strategic plans, and building key partnerships with cross-sector leadership. She guides multi-generational family, community, corporate, private, and operating foundations to build governance, processes, organizational culture, legacy, branded programs and facilitated retreats, forums and board sessions. As President of the Orfalea Foundations from 2000-2015, Mitchell led a 20+ member team through innovative collaborations, audacious campaigns, public events, and an intentional sunset spend-down.
Pendred Noyce was Co-Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded Massachusetts State Systemic Initiative Program and of PALMS, a $16 million NSF-funded State Systemic Initiative to improve mathematics, science, and technology education in Massachusetts. Currently, Penny chairs the board of the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy in Massachusetts. She also serves on the boards of the Concord Consortium, the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP), and TERC, all in Massachusetts, as well as the Libra Foundation of Portland, Maine. She is a co-founding trustee of the Noyce Foundation.
What participants said:
Very valuable and practical, we appreciate the candor and thoughtful preparation of these presenters. Their willingness to understand the concerns of the audience and respond to particularly tough questions is especially important.
This webinar was very informative and gives us a lot to think about. There were very helpful tips to explore going forward. Thank you for making this available.
Our foundation has not decided when we are going to spend down, but the information I learned from this webinar from other foundations will definitely be helpful to us as we think about this issue.
Very practical tips, showed the rigor foundations undertake to make an impact in a finite timeline, appreciated the materials and the mention of the other foundations who have resources about this.
Real life examples of powerful but difficult work. Concrete lessons learned for spend-down foundations.