WHOOPS! You've opened the door to our past instead of our future. Please join us at the new Quixote Foundation website.

We hope to have a low impact on the world's resources and a high impact on its freedom, fairness and health.

We welcome your ideas for how we can behave more sustainably.


At Quixote Foundation we try to minimize the environmental impact of our office, travel, programs and other operations. We also do our best to promote social justice through progressive hiring and compensation practices. Taking this ethic another step, we do a lot of research to find vendors who are environmentally and socially conscientious.

We don’t imagine we’ll reach perfection any time soon but we intend to make consistent progress. Quixote Foundation hopes to help build a strong market for businesses that recognize sustainability as a component of both quality and value.


Our goal for sustainable grantmaking is to promote each organization’s overall health and the long-term strength of progressive movements, not just the specific initiatives that need funding now. Tactics range from making multi-year operating grants to encouraging nonprofit organizations to compensate their employees well. One of our favorite ways to sustain grantees’ work is to bring them together for unstructured, creative time, then get out of the way as they collaborate for incredible results.

funder outreach

Our muse, Don, isn’t the only mouthy one around here. Even as we’re figuring out how to behave sustainably ourselves, we loudly encourage other grantmakers to take these steps with us:

  • Design your spending model to suit what you want to accomplish–not the other way around. We’d like every foundation to ask: “Is institutional perpetuity the right strategy for what we want to accomplish in perpetuity? Would spending everything on a short timeline–or just spending¬†beyond 5%–be a more effective way to fulfill our purpose?” No matter what the answer is, considering the question helps clarify our work.
  • Promote civic engagement by asking each grant recipient to activate its audience. Direct action is great but it’s only sustainable if good policy is in place to safeguard the progress that’s made.
  • Bring U.S. media reform into every interest area. True democracy depends on a free, open and diverse media. Instead, we have a corporate system which regularly shuts out the issues we care about and the stories our grantees have to tell. We can’t change the world until we can communicate with it, so we’d all better get to work on the media system now!
  • Help nonprofits build leadership equity. Well-fed and well-rested leaders can stay with organizations for many years and with movements for their entire careers. As funders we should give generously enough for nonprofit groups to meet the costs of paying their people fairly and–gasp–administering their organizations effectively!