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Spend up Frequently Asked Questions

How exactly do we plan to ramp up our spending? We plan to fund a mixture of increased annual grants and one-time, “landmark” large commitments.  Due to financial market ups and downs, we’ll need to adjust the spending pattern as we go.  We’re calibrating to make grants through 2016.

Is our last year 2016 or 2017? 2017. We’ll make our last grants in 2016; throughout 2017, we’ll take an administrative year for foundation compliance and other follow-up activities.

Why spend up at this moment in history?   Where is the money going? We plan to keep funding within our four interest areas, each of which has specific urgencies, and we also see opportunities that bind together the whole.  We have not determined the entire set of grants we’ll make but we have a strong sense of direction:

  • Media reform:  Affordable broadband and an open internet have become basic necessities for communication, information gathering and economic success, on par with access to public education.  We will infuse funds to help secure inclusive policies now, while so many critical rules are being written.
  • Environmental equity:  Green job creation, energy innovation, land conservation, technological progress, and other actions addressing climate change represent an opening for marginalized communities to invest and share in new benefits.  We see a once-in-a-lifetime chance to help diversify the environmental movement and capture the social change opportunities associated with greener lifestyles and economies.
  • Reproductive rights:  The freedom to make informed, thoughtful reproductive decisions is a basic human right, and it’s past time to move from perpetual debate to permanent protections.  The movement is stepping up to find new ways to engage policy makers, women, men, and especially youth; and to craft new legislative, policy and outreach solutions.  Quixote Foundation is still looking for the best avenue to help.
  • Election integrity:  Election verification has gone from fledgling cause to full-tilt movement, and the technological landscape is shifting fast.  In the next few years, election officials’ policy and purchasing decisions will determine whether generations of U.S. votes are secure.  We’ll support the collective work of organizations and individual activists who ensure the best choices are made.
  • Progressive infrastructure:  Quixote Foundation brings leaders together from across all our interest areas, so they can exchange information about the issues and policies they’re engaged in addressing, and can look for practical ways to collaborate.

One of Quixote Foundation’s goals is to foster the health of our grantees. What happens to those organizations when we’re no longer making grants? If we do our job right, they’ll be stronger and see more benefits from up-front funding than they might from smaller grants over a longer period of time.  We’re making this announcement several years in advance so we can engage our grantees in planning.  Early funding will not only boost the work they’re able to do, it will also include capacity-building support as needed for fundraising, network development and outreach.