Giving Until It Hurts

Passages Series

Deborah Brody Hamilton

2003, 8 pages, single issue $20, subscription $50. National Center for Family Philanthropy, 1818 N Street N.W. Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036, 202-293-3424

The latest article in the National Center for Family Philanthropy's Passages series is a glass half-empty/glass half-full look at how family foundations are coping with the current economic downturn.

The eight-page piece, one in a series exploring key factors in family giving, includes specific examples of how the economic downturn and stock market decline have affected NCFP member foundations as well as ways some of them have used the situation as an opportunity to re-examine themselves and develop creative new ways of operating.

Strategies that NCFP members have adopted to address the current situation are highlighted and fall into nine categories: cutting administrative costs, decreasing grants, spending out, staying the course, increasing focus on mission, dipping into principal, making more program-related investments, turning down new grantees, and making multiple-year operating grants for key organizations. Examples are given for each. A more in-depth look at how one funder, the Needmor Fund, is coping also is offered.

The publication includes checklists of questions to help foundations think through the challenges as well as a brief bibliography of resources.

Deena Epstein, The George Gund Foundation