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Foundation Exits: A Survey of Foundations and Nonprofits

Resource type: Research Report

Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University |

Since the 1990s, philanthropy has seen a growing share of foundations embrace a limited life, setting a defined endpoint for their operations. More foundations are also funding time-limited strategic initiatives.

While foundations use a variety of strategies to manage their exits, little has been known about the success of exit processes and how exits affect the long-term sustainability of grantees, a field, and the broader community.

To start filling these gaps, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy designed and administered a survey to better understand practices in ending funding relationships from both the funders’ and grantees’ perspective.

This report presents key findings and conclusions, along with recommendations to help nonprofits and funders better plan and improve the exit process.

Grand Valley State University is an Atlantic grantee.