About This Site
Drawing on Beldon’s 10-year experience with spending out while seeking to accomplish an ambitious mission, this web site provides a range of resources for philanthropy and nonprofit advocacy organizations and philanthropic advisors. It includes information, lessons and tips about:
- The practical implications of spending out -
how it affects financial strategy, staffing, operations and grant making programs
- Final Impact Assessment - Conducted 5 years after closing.
- Lessons and Tips
- Case stories of projects
- Independent evaluations of Beldon’s strategies and results
- Additional resources on spending down and spending out
The Beldon Fund was created by John Hunting in 1982 as a national foundation committed to promoting sound environmental policies. In 1998, Beldon received a major infusion of funds from the sale of Hunting’s stock in the Steelcase company. Hunting set the foundation on a new course by deciding to spend all its principal and earnings over the next ten years, with the goal of building a national consensus to achieve and sustain a healthy planet.
Beldon made its last grants in June 2008 and closes its doors the end of May 2009. Beldon's archives will be preserved at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis University Library as part of its Philanthropy Collections and available for research in 2014. This website will remain live for the foreseeable future.
The limited time horizon for making a difference shaped decisions about staffing, administrative, investment, grant making, and evaluation strategies. Now that our last grants are out the door, we have taken some time to examine what we learned from this experience and to distill useful insights and lessons.
We developed this website to share these lessons, and other practical information, with philanthropists, philanthropic advisors, foundations, and nonprofit advocacy organizations.
Final Impact Assessment - June 2014
When the Beldon Fund closed its doors in 2009, its board and staff knew that some questions about
its impact simply couldn’t be answered without the passage of time. Five years after Beldon’s
spend-out, Grassroots Solutions and Keiki Kehoe were commissioned by the Tides Foundation
through a final 2009 Beldon grant designated for this purpose to conduct a final impact
assessment of its work. The assessment explored the fundamental question: What do we know now
about the impact and legacy of the Beldon Fund that we could not have known five years ago?
The assessment focused on three areas of inquiry: Beldon’s legacy, challenges, and lessons for
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