An Open Letter to Grantees

October 19, 2009

October 19, 2009

Dear Colleague:

In common with nearly all foundations, and as reported publicly in our 2008 Annual Report, our assets were adversely affected by the financial downturn, returning -28%. However, because of careful planning, our overall financial condition remains strong. We have a well-diversified portfolio that is very liquid, and our assets currently stand at $1.2 billion. Thus, we are able to move forward with our current strategies, fulfill all of our existing commitments on time and as scheduled, and invest in new work for the future. 

Nevertheless, as we plan for 2010, the reduction in our assets has forced us to take a hard look at our expenses. As a result of this analysis, we have had to make some painful decisions to reduce the Foundation’s staff levels, while maintaining sufficient staff to meet our philanthropic objectives.

As difficult as these decisions have been, they are necessary. Every dollar we spend on expenses is a dollar that is not available to support the work of our grantees in developing innovative solutions to important social problems, to underwrite research to fill knowledge gaps or to evaluate the results of our work, and to share what we are learning with others.

Balancing all of these objectives, in 2010 we will eliminate 15 staff positions, including both officers and administrative staff. While these changes are extremely painful, we believe they will place us in the strongest possible position to pursue our mission – to provide learning and enrichment opportunities for children – now and for many years in the future.


M. Christine DeVita