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Foundation Grantmaking over the Economic Cycle

A roundtable discussion co-hosted by the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, Urban Institute, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University.

Roundtable Discussion I:

Foundation Payouts and the Economic Cycle 

Discussion centered on the theoretical explanation for any cyclical pattern of payout and the effect of the excise tax on pro-cyclical foundation giving. Speakers brought in theories of finance to discuss the types of portfolios that allow optimal patterns of withdrawals or at least minimum levels of withdrawals during bad times. 

  • Moderator: Elizabeth Boris, Urban Institute 
  • Ben W. Blanton, Faegre Baker Daniels
  • Joseph Cordes, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration 
  • Richard Sansing, Tuck School of Business 
  • C. Eugene Steuerle, Urban Institute 
Roundtable Discussion II:

What happened to foundation payouts in recent history, including the last recession? 

Foundation payouts varied during the great recession as foundations sought to provide adequate funding during a time of greater need and lower investment income. Speakers drew from research and the experiences of foundations to explain how the recent economic downturn affected grantmaking. 

  • Moderator: Joseph Rosenberg, Urban Institute 
  • Nathan Dietz, Urban Institute
  • Steven Lawrence, The Foundation Center
  • Una Osili and Patrick Rooney, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy 

Download the research brief:

Foundation Grantmaking over the Economic Cycle
by Nathan Dietz, Brice S. McKeever, Ellen Steele and C. Eugene Steuerle
March 9, 2015

Date & Time Thursday, March 13, 2014
2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
, DC , 20037
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  • Institute Fellow
  • Senior Research Associate
  • Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair