Resources

Philanthropy

The Myth of Perpetuity in Foundation Strategy

As philanthropic boards debate digging deep to address pandemic-related crises, a study by Milway Consulting of articles of incorporation of the top 50 foundations surfaces pathways to big bets regardless of founding intent or degree of post-recession recovery.

Authors:
Katie Smith Milway, @KatieSMilway, is principal of philanthropy advisor Milway Consulting and senior advisor at The Bridgespan Group.

William Galligan is a Milway associate who recently joined Bain & Company.

The research and findings were conducted independently, funded by the Lodestar Foundation.

Foundation Giving in Tough Times

Foundation Giving in Tough Times, by Milway Consulting studies articles of incorporation and endowment recoveries post Great Recession of the top 50 U.S. private foundations. It aims to understand whether trustees unfettered by founders’ intents of perpetuity and/or foundations recovered from 2008-09 losses are increasing payouts more boldly than others to address 2020’s pandemic-related crises. The research reveals no such pattern, but rather bold pathways to increasing payouts regardless of either status.

Authors:
Katie Smith Milway, @KatieSMilway, is principal of philanthropy advisor Milway Consulting and senior advisor at The Bridgespan Group.

William Galligan is a Milway associate who recently joined Bain & Company.

The research and findings were conducted independently, funded by the Lodestar Foundation.

Foundation Giving in Tough Times Appendix:
Summary of Articles of Incorporation of the Top 50 U.S. Private Foundations

The Foundation Giving in Tough Times Appendix, developed by Milway Consulting, aggregates founding intent and purpose statements of the Top 50 U.S. private foundations by investable assets. It records that 27 of the top 50 foundations were incorporated in perpetuity, while 23 either don’t mention perpetuity in their Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws, provide for dissolution at an unspecified date, or specify they will spend down within a given timeframe.

Authors:
Katie Smith Milway, @KatieSMilway, is principal of philanthropy advisor Milway Consulting and senior advisor at The Bridgespan Group.

William Galligan is a Milway associate who recently joined Bain & Company.

The research and findings were conducted independently, funded by the Lodestar Foundation.

COLLABORATION

To learn more about sustained collaboration resources, please visit the following organizations:

SeaChange Capital Partners
In late 2009, Lodestar entered into a partnership with SeaChange Capital Partners to jointly support nonprofit collaborations throughout the country. In furtherance of that effort, the partners established the SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration to support collaborations. With the belief that collaboration can be a valuable capacity-building tool for nonprofit organizations to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability with which they pursue their missions, the SeaChange-Lodestar Fund’s mission is to encourage and support mergers, acquisitions, joint-ventures, and other types of formal, long-term collaboration among nonprofit organizations. 
Candid

In 2010, The Lodestar Foundation entered into a partnership with The Foundation Center (now Candid) to create and maintain a broad-based database of nonprofit collaborations, searchable by a wide variety of categories and characteristics. The Collaboration Hubcreated in June 2010, provides inspirational and instructive models of collaboration for the sector. The database initially was populated by applications received by The Lodestar Foundation in connection with a project to collect models pursuant to a national contest entitled The Collaboration Prize. Additional models continue to be added to the database by application to Candid.

La Piana Consulting

Founded in 1998 by David La Piana with support from three major funders, La Piana Consulting sought to create a new resource for collaboration and strategic restructuring in the nonprofit sector by launching Strategic Solutions, a five-year research and field-building project that birthed the firm and continues to inform their work today. La Piana Consulting helps both nonprofits and foundations to leverage organizational strategy, structure, and culture to advance their missions.  They are a recognized leader in the field of nonprofit strategic restructuring and collaboration, providing consulting expertise to assist nonprofits with accelerating their efficacy.

The Sustained Collaboration Network

Across the United States, funders have come together to offer the strategic option of sustained collaboration as a way to strengthen capacity and maximize impact in the sector.  Each community-based funder collaborative in The Sustained Collaboration Network supports enduring nonprofit collaborations around the country.  The funds offer exploratory and implementation support to nonprofits interested in entering into a sustained collaboration.

The Lodestar Foundation has funded projects by The Bridgespan Group to research nonprofit collaboration. A 2014 study, Making Sense of Nonprofit Collaboration, looked at the frequency and success of common forms of collaboration, as well as potential barriers and forward-looking trends. A curated series of case studies and blogs, Mergers that Make a Difference, featured effective nonprofit collaborations and highlighted what made them successful.