100-year-old foundation spends down — moving millions to BIPOC-led non-profits

The catalyst for the Edward W. Hazen Foundation’s decision to spend down was a realization they could achieve more by boosting support for organizations in a critical moment

Why It Matters

Facing overlapping social crises, some grassroots leaders have called on foundations to spend down. But are they actually doing it?

This May, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Edward W. Hazen Foundation will celebrate its 100th birthday by going out of existence.  In 2019, after several years of deliberation, the private foundation’s board announced their decision to spend down its assets over five years, seeing an opportunity to increase support for grantees when they needed it most. This winter, the foundation made good on that promise, distributing its final $3.75 million U.S. to 43 non-profits, predominantly grassroots organizations led by young racialized people.

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