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Harvest Time for The Atlantic Philanthropies – 2017-2019: Three Endings and a Beginning

Resource type: Research Report

Tony Proscio, Duke University Center for Strategic Philanthropy & Civil Society |

This report is the last in a series of seven chronicling the concluding years of The Atlantic Philanthropies, which is set to become the largest endowed institution thus far to put all its charitable assets to use in a fixed period and then close its doors.

Covering events from the beginning of 2017 through the autumn of 2019, roughly one year before Atlantic expects to complete its work and close, the report includes:

  • Efforts to crystallize the core purpose of the worldwide network of Atlantic Fellows programs and the Atlantic Institute and communicate a common goal and identity
  • Case studies of two instances (implementation of the National Dementia Strategy in the Republic of Ireland and creation of the Civic Participation Action Fund in the U.S.) where Atlantic projects to alter public policy ran into shifting currents
  • Description of final plans for the Atlantic website and the actively curated archive at Cornell University
  • Details of the foundation’s 2020 conclusion and liquidation

The report concludes with some thoughts on the legacy of Atlantic’s significant achievements, while noting that legacy is “a question that Atlantic’s first CEO, Harvey Dale, had warned from the outset could be answered only through the long lens of history.”

Atlantic commissioned this report.