The Brainerd Foundation's philosophy has always been to deploy whatever resources, strategies, and tools are necessary to achieve its goals.
Most foundations use a budgeting formula designed to preserve their endowment and ensure their operations in perpetuity. This has never been the case at the Brainerd Foundation, and our annual grantmaking has often exceeded the minimum required by law.
Despite our grantees' tremendous accomplishments, the ecological challenges before us remain as significant and urgent as ever. Our foundation made the decision to spend out our endowment because we believe our dollars can have a greater impact in the near-term. Our grantmaking will cease at the end of 2020.
In our final years, we will continue with our long-standing programs, in conservation policy and place-based conservation. Our Conservation Capacity Program has embraced three final sunset initiatives that we hope will benefit our grantees and other organizations well beyond our close. These initiatives are focused on strengthening the next generation of Northwest conservation philanthropy, leadership, and advocacy.
Invest in the development of a community of high-potential conservation philanthropists that are knowledgeable about opportunities to make a meaningful impact.
Support new leaders entering the conservation movement and prepare emerging leaders to play more significant roles in conservation organizations.
Support groups committed to learning from each other and building stronger models of effective advocacy. Our investments will be designed to help these organizations be more adaptive, resilient, and sustainable.
It is inevitable that over the next few years, the foundation will end its partnerships with some of its long-time grantees. The decision to shift funding is not a reflection of the quality of their work, but rather an imperative of our sunset. We are committed to giving substantial prior notice of changes in funding and expect to collaborate with groups in the design of final grants to ensure their sustainability.