Friday, November 12, 2010
As part of its ongoing series on philanthropic giving, the NY Times reports on the decision of many modern day philanthropists to front load their gifts rather than creating private foundations designed to exist in perpetuity. Such articles in the past have tended to focus on politically conservative foundations, such as the John M. Olin Foundation that closed its doors in 2005, whose founders were reacting in large part of the perceived liberal drift of the Ford Foundation and other long-lived foundations. In contrast, the NY Times article focuses on wealthy donors who are motivated primarily by a concern to do more now instead of later. The individuals identified include Bill and Melinda Gates, whose foundation plans to close with in 50 years after their death, Charles F. Feeney, whose Atlantic Philanthropies plans to close by 2020, and Tim Gill, whose foundation is reported as planning to close within 20 years of his death.