The Carnegie Corporation was among those who refused to commit to spending more. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund was another. Stephen Heintz, its president, said spending will increase this year but his board has yet to decide how much.
Larry Kramer, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, said in March that the $ 9.7 billion foundation would not increase spending because it “would require the sale of devalued assets of an already diminished endowment, thereby blocking losses permanently, to the detriment of future beneficiaries and the communities they will serve. “
Since then, financial markets have rebounded almost entirely from their March lows. Vidya Krishnamurthy, spokesperson for the foundation, said she “is reassessing the best way to meet the immediate and future needs of our beneficiaries, in the midst of current crises and changing market conditions.”
Thousands of nonprofits – from community theaters to pantries to small rural hospitals – are fighting for their lives. A study released this week by the Center for Effective Philanthropy found that 90% of the nonprofits surveyed had to cancel or postpone fundraising events and 81% had to cut programs or services. At the same time, more than half said that the demand for their services had increased.
Many of these non-profit organizations rely on foundations as a major source of funding.
“Frankly, the house is on fire right now, and if they don’t save the nonprofits, they’re going to have to rebuild the whole sector,” said Chitra Hanstad, executive director of World Relief Seattle, who provides services to refugees. , asylum seekers and others. Its funds being low, the group plans a series of layoffs.
The Ford Foundation was established in 1936 with a $ 25,000 grant from Edsel Ford, son of Ford Motor founder Henry Ford. In recent years, he has dedicated himself to fighting economic and racial inequality, funding groups like Campaign Zero, which seeks to end police brutality, and Color of Change, which works to help black communities.
Walker said he realized in March that it was time to borrow money. He was listening to a speech by the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome H. Powell, who said that he was cutting interest rates. “It occurred to me that the cost of borrowing for highly rated institutions should be very low,” said Walker. The foundation board approved the plan.