Beldon Fund

Final Impact Assessment: Lesson #5

The Beldon Fund:
Final Impact Assessment

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Live with your bets.

Like all foundations, Beldon made a series of strategic choices about how and where to invest its resources. Had it been a perpetual foundation, its board and staff might have been more inclined to prolong the decision-making, or to change their minds along the way. But the reality of being a spend out meant that the foundation was racing to the finish line as soon as the starting gun was fired. To be sure, the strategies shifted and priorities evolved, but most of the adjustments reflected a tighter and tighter honing rather than a wholesale rethinking. This seems appropriate.

What emerged in this assessment was an interesting revelation. Five years after spend out and fifteen years after the strategy was crafted, staff and board members alike were wondering whether they had chosen the right path. The nagging question on many of their minds was whether they could have helped tip the scales on federal climate policy had they focused their attention on that issue. This assessment can’t answer that question, but it should assure Beldon that it made some solid bets and that its funding and hard work have had an enduring impact that can still be seen today.