Some donors may desire that the sun never set on their philanthropic giving. For others, however, spending down a foundation—either during their lives or soon after death—is a crucial element of ensuring that their giving matches their intentions. Donors considering sunsetting a foundation have many questions: Why do other donors decide to do it? How will outstanding grantees survive when my foundation closes? Whom should I select as board members? What mistakes in sunsetting can I avoid? What should my time frame be? At our 2012 Annual Meeting, a panel of three spend-down experts—Joel L. Fleishman, Ingrid Gregg, and Frances Ostrower—will address practical questions about spending down as a means of protecting donor intent.
The Philanthropy Roundtable is committed to preserving, strengthening, and celebrating the principle of donor intent. To that end, we publish a range of materials, from practical, how-to guides for living donors to principled justifications of donor intent. The Roundtable’s latest guidebook, Protecting Donor Intent, presents some practical considerations for choosing a timeframe for donating your assets to charity, and our online Donor Intent Resource Library provides a collection of resources that explore the topic of spending down vs. perpetuity.