What lessons can funders learn from grantmaking during the Great Recession?

Written by: NCRP

Date: April 16, 2020

Most large U.S. foundations reduced their grantmaking during the Great Recession of 2008-09, but in a recent column for HistPhil, NCRP Director of Research Ryan Schlegel highlighted 2 foundations that did not:

“Neither The California Endowment (TCE) nor the Lumina Foundation are spend-down foundations, and neither is attached to a living mega-donor whose support can replenish their assets periodically. But both TCE and Lumina either maintained or increased their grantmaking during the Great Recession years – TCE gave 23% more in 2009 than in 2007, Lumina gave 98% more. Their grantmaking during the depths of the recession is especially notable when compared with the rest of the largest 100 foundations in the FC1000, whose grantmaking was 11% lower in 2009 than in 2007.”

Schlegel interviewed representatives from both foundations and noted 3 important lessons for philanthropy from Lumina and TCE’s experiences.

Read the entire column to learn more.

Image by Investment Zen. Used under Creative Commons license.