Sharing Knowledge is an Investment in the Future

The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation has a strong commitment to building and scaling organizations capable of continuing to achieve results after the Foundation’s sunset in 2020. Part of this commitment involves generating – and sharing – knowledge that will be useful for nonprofit organizations and the grantmakers that support them.

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Effectiveness (PDF)

This section of the website features tools we are developing and using to guide Foundation investments, as well as reports and products drawn from research, evaluation, and peer learning projects the Foundation supports. It includes:

  • Information learned through the Foundation’s spend-down experience, presented with other knowledge on exits created with Foundation support
  • Resources developed to help funders and nonprofits understand and enhance resiliency – an essential characteristic of organizations that are built for ongoing success
  • Research and tools to advance evaluation practice in the social sector
  • Guides designed to help nonprofits and grantmakers work with consultants more effectively
  • An evolving kit of resources to help funders and nonprofit partners avoid the pitfalls and realize the potential of capital grants for buildings and renovations
  • Retrospective reports on several of the Foundation’s completed lines of work

As part of its commitment to informing other grantmakers considering or engaged in spending down, the Foundation is documenting its experience. This includes making an annual update to its spend-down timeline, and publishing its spend-down story – which begins with a Prologue overviewing the Foundation history and describing the factors leading to the decision to invest all assets.

Materials in this section are managed by the Foundation’s Effectiveness Team; this team has a dual mission of both serving the Foundation and strengthening the field of philanthropy. Your comments or questions are invited as this group continues its knowledge-sharing activity. Contact effectiveness@sdbjrfoundation.org.