In the wake of COVID-19, there has been a lot of discussion — especially in the blogosphere — about foundations “digging deep” both by increasing annual spending and potentially spending down endowment assets. To some voices in philanthropy — including the Ford Foundation’s Hillary Pennington (Bell, 2020), Benjamin Soskis (2020) of HistPhil and the Urban Institute, and the Libra Foundation’s (2020) Crystal Hayling — the magnitude of the crisis demands considering all financial resources. Over 300 donors and grantmakers have now signed a joint letter asking Congress to temporarily raise minimum foundation payout levels and set a payout requirement for the first time for Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) to respond to the unprecedented need among nonprofits (Daniels, 2020).
There is much discussion lately about the financial doom that this pandemic is unleashing on nonprofits. Cancelled galas, shrinking corporate donations, fearful foundation donors, disappearing government coffers. It seems that the entire way nonprofits are funded might be crumbling before our eyes.
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Over decades in the social sector, I spent countless hours in the grant-seeking trenches and saw my share of things that left me wondering whether to laugh or cry. But then I became a foundation funder and encountered a prospective grantee’s “toxic diaper excuse” (more on that later), which truly left my head shaking. Reflecting on my experiences, I am aware of how deeply… Read more »
A majority of U.S. nonprofit and foundation leaders are concerned about a potential decrease in charitable giving in the wake of tax legislation passed by Congress late last year, a new study released today by the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) reveals.