An interesting article on a recent trend that is causing quite a ripple in the traditionally still waters of the foundation world:
Philanthropy Today: Growing Number of Family Funds Set Deadline for Closing
This blog cites The Wall Street Journal, which usually requires a membership to access. For those who don't want to register, the article is also available on The Atlantic Philanthropies' Web site:
"Families Wrestle With Closing Foundations"
The Atlantic Philanthropies is one of the largest foundations that is going to pursue this goal... according to their site:
Atlantic is a limited-life foundation, one that is committed to spending its entire multibillion-dollar endowment by 2020, in order to make greater and more immediate improvements in the world.
Our self-imposed expiration date is in keeping with the spirit and philosophy of our founder, who personally believes in “giving while living” and follows in the philanthropic footsteps of other notable foundations, including the Julius Rosenwald Fund, the Aaron Diamond Foundation, the Lucille B. Markey Charitable Trust and many others.
Our goal, simply put, is to do as much good as possible, for as many disadvantaged and vulnerable people as possible, as soon as possible. The limited-lifetime approach gives our work a sense of urgency and motivates us to concentrate resources on the achievement of a few carefully chosen objectives.