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What people are saying

Deborah L. Jacobs/New York Times:
Quoting Quixote Foundation’s Erik Hanisch: “All of [our interest areas] seemed to need more effort—there was a sense of urgency and the chance to shape future policies.”
Quoting HKH Foundation’s Harriet Barlow: Money used to build an endowment “is not nearly as effective in sustaining the common good as money that’s in circulation.”

Steve Katz/Maimonides Ladder:
“ One of the big problems for foundations and NGO grantees alike is that over time we tend to become insulated from the information – some would call it market signaling – that tells us it’s time to change.”

Bruce Trachtenberg/Communications Network blog:
“…The foundation is quite sincere about getting a conversation going and encouraging people with all points of view to weigh in on what Quixote has in mind. The foundation truly wants to know if people agree or disagree, and what, if anything, it leads them to conclude about how to be more effective givers.”

Joe Brown/Slope Resources, in his blog “Done by People”:
“As was Don Quixote when he made the decision to leave his village and take up knighthood, it is clear that the Foundation is ‘spurred on by the conviction that the world [needs its] immediate presence.'”

Mouli Cohen/Redefining Entrepreneurial Innovation:
“In this economically difficult time for practically all charitable organizations, the Quixote Foundation has decided to spend more instead of less. ”

Keneta Anderson/guest blogger on New Voices in Philanthropy:
“There is quiet power in foundations willing to know their goals, choose their opportunities, spend everything, and trust others to carry the work forward more dynamically and effectively than if they’d tried to remain in control. ”

Dan Chu/National Wildlife Federation, on Facebook:
“I am inspired by your optimism and belief that today we are poised for transformational social change in this country. Spending up is a great way to lead by example and establish long term power for all of us who dream of a equitable and healthy future for our kids. I hope other funders will follow your lead and seize the moment.”

Helen Vukelich/Madison, Wisconsin, family friend of Quixote Foundation founder Stuart Hanisch:
“The spend up is very forward thinking, Stuart would be very proud.” (Helen, who is 81, also plans to make a hat out of her printed spend up announcement and “wear it down to lunch with the other old people.”)

Alan Durning/Sightline, on Facebook:
“Why do most [philanthropists] focus on building their own permanent institutions? The point of philanthropy is to advance your values in the world. How better than to invest deeply in the movements that carry your values?”

Mike Schaefer/Consultant, on Facebook:
“Spending ‘up’ in this economy presents an unprecedented opportunity to create lasting change…”

John Hunting/Beldon Fund:
“I felt as an environmentalist that it was imperative to spend the money now, because it would be silly to wait for the future if there wasn’t going to be a future.”

Chuck Feeney/Atlantic Philanthropies:
“How to become a millionaire? Become a billionaire first.”

Anita Nager/Beldon Fund:
“Spending everything …makes you quite mindful about what your absence is going to mean to the grantees you have supported, especially the ones you have been a mainstay for.”