Giving Compass' Take:

• Fran Sykes explains how, after deciding to sunset, Pascale Sykes Foundation went about spending down in accordance with their values. 

• Is sunsetting the right option for your family foundation? 

• Find out why Fran Sykes decided to sunset Pascale Sykes.

The first step in the journey, after funding the foundation, was to establish an ad hoc workgroup of representatives from New Jersey nonprofits and faith-based organizations, and researchers and government officials. We had a definite goal: To establish a 10-year spend-down plan in line with our mission to promote the integrity, independence, and well-being of working low-income intergenerational families.

The workgroup recognized that to promote systemic change, we needed to catalyze and nurture a change in mindset. We believe the social services system, focused currently on individuals’ specific problems, would be more effective if focused on families and caregivers. Since financial security, housing security, healthy relations, physical well-being, and other factors are interrelated, both children and adults would more likely prosper if all were addressed in line with their family’s priorities.

Accordingly, our goal became to make the Whole Family Approach, focused on working low-income families, accepted as part of our American culture and social service delivery system. We decided to begin the work in rural southern New Jersey.

I quickly realized that I could not handle this effectively alone, so the foundation began to contract with individuals and companies. We were forced to grow to meet the ad hoc workgroup’s goals.

Read the full article about sunseting a foundation by Fran Sykes at Exponent Philanthropy.