Effective Family Philanthropy: The Compton Foundation

Posted on May 26, 2023 by Ade Adeniji

Five Practices the Compton Foundation Has Embraced to Achieve Its Goals Bringing in forward-thinking leaders. Compton’s first executive director wasn’t brought in until the late 1980s. Since then, they’ve had three. Their first ED encouraged practices like multiyear grants and reading books about equity in philanthropy. Embracing a spend out. It wasn’t immediate and it wasn’t without fireworks. But Compton… Read More

Executive Summary—Philanthropy in Complex, Multi-Generational Families: Balancing Individual Preference with Collective Purpose

Posted on April 12, 2023

fall leaves
Researchers from Lansberg Gersick Advisors consider how the family foundation’s design and operation is informed by—and informs—the family’s philanthropic activities that take place outside of it. The purpose of this study is to help families understand how they can design their family philanthropy to best meet their goals.    The study’s standout finding was that the creation of a robust family… Read More

Full Report—Philanthropy in Complex, Multi-Generational Families: Balancing Individual Preference with Collective Purpose

Posted on April 12, 2023 by Wendy R. Ulaszek, Ph.D., Ashley Blanchard

Tree in field
Researchers from Lansberg Gersick Advisors hypothesized that families’ abilities to work together effectively in their philanthropy is dependent not only on the way they design their collective family foundation, but also in how they structure the philanthropic activities outside of it. From 2018-2022, they conducted surveys and interviews and found that as families evolve, they face common dilemmas regarding their… Read More

Strategic Lifespan Peer Network: The Spend Down Journey—Timing is Everything

Posted on November 28, 2022 by Rhonnel Sotelo, Anne Marie Toccket, Priscilla Enriquez, Glen Galaich

The length of the spend down journey varies from foundation to foundation. The nature of decisions also varies depending on the length of time remaining in the foundation’s lifespan. What is top of mind at the different times of the spend down journey? What can a spend down foundation with more than 10 years remaining learn from a foundation with… Read More

Strategic Lifespan Peer Network: Spending Down—Trade-offs and Opportunities

Posted on November 28, 2022 by Anne Marie Toccket, Laurel Randi, Priscilla Enriquez, Glen Galaich

When a family makes the decision to spend down their philanthropic resources, that is just the beginning to many other decisions that affect the impact of the family’s giving. Trade-offs will need to be made related to staffing, investments and grantmaking. How can one maximize the opportunities that spending at a faster payout rate provides? How can one minimize missed… Read More

Strategic Lifespan Peer Network: Formulating Grantmaking Strategies with a Spend Down Mindset

Posted on May 18, 2022 by Gwyneth Tripp, Misty Avila

group of people brainstorming around table with papers and sticky notes
Once the decision has been made to spend down, foundation leaders must determine how their grantmaking efforts will need to change. How do you curate your programs and support and engage grantees during this spend down process? How does your impact or portfolio shift? Join Misty Avila, chief impact officer at the James B. McClatchy Foundation, and Gwyneth Tripp, director… Read More

Strategic Lifespan Peer Network: Investing with an End in Sight

Posted on March 30, 2022 by Emilie Cortes, Karie Dewan, Priscilla Enriquez

Planning to spend down is financially complex. It can be tough for board and staff to predict the financial future of the work. How do you plan for the funding needed for staffing, operations, and multi-year investments? While planning, how can you best make decisions to maximize the financial and social impact of your dollars? Join Emilie Cortes, trustee of… Read More

Strategic Lifespan Peer Network: Spending Up, Committing to Increased Assets for Increased Impact

Posted on February 7, 2022 by Colleen O’Keefe, Pat Sauer

How are you thinking about your foundation’s assets, the challenges and inequities in our world, and supporting timely problems? In 2021, the Sauer Foundation shared, “the assets of the foundation would increase from $28 million to $100 million, and that amount would be invested in the community over the next 10 years.” This foundation’s gift to spend up and make… Read More