Before Sunset: Recommendations for Spending Down a Foundation and Extending Impact

Mika Matsuno, Shayna Keller, Jessica Love

Foundations that decide to sunset—to fully spend down their endowments over a set period—have the opportunity to allocate their substantial resources to catalyze change and support sustainable resourcing for organizations and movements.

Realizing the full promise of a successful spend down requires thoughtful, strategic, and careful planning. Thankfully, there is a growing wealth of knowledge about spend-down best practices as current and former spend-down foundation leaders share the many of approaches they took to planning their sunsets, partnering with grantees and peer donors, supporting staff members and maintaining internal capacity, and influencing the field.

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