Beldon Fund

Final Impact Assessment: Lesson #3

The Beldon Fund:
Final Impact Assessment

Download Full Report

Prepare grantees for your departure, but have realistic expectations.

Beldon put a tremendous amount of effort into preparing its grantees for life after its last grant. As many have observed, Beldon went above and beyond all expectations, investing direct dollars in capacity-building and large amounts of staff time in outreach to new prospective donors. Beldon’s efforts redefined foundation best practices, setting an example for those who have followed. While there is widespread agreement that these efforts were valuable, the sizes of Beldon’s grants were such that many grantees were unable to fill the gap after Beldon departed. Despite its best efforts, some groups that Beldon worked hard to support have faltered and disappointed and some funders that Beldon worked hard to enlist as successors have chosen to invest elsewhere. In each case the circumstances are different, but the lesson is the same: not everything is going to work, no matter how hard you try.