Goodbye and thank you Atlantic Philanthropies


Alliance magazine


The Atlantic Philanthropies will close its doors by 2020, becoming the largest foundation to invest an entire endowment and ‘voluntarily conclude operations’.

The article ‘Making and Living History’, written by the foundation’s President and CEO Christopher G. Oechsli, outlines the impact that Atlantic has made over the last 35 years and their reasons for spending out.

Matching the donation size from the foundation’s inception, Atlantic has made their final donation of $7 million to the Cornell Tradition, just as founder Chuck Feeney did in 1982.

Atlantic Philanthropies has invested $8 billion to ‘advance opportunity and promote equity and dignity’ over the course of its existence, $40 million of those funds going towards the Cornell Tradition, a fellowship program that has awarded service, work, and scholarship opportunities to over 5,500 students from the university.

Acknowledging the fairly short existence of the foundation, they highlight the idea that this intentional decision was due to a sense of urgency and to effect change ‘sooner rather than later’, creating lasting impact.

In explaining this decision, Oechsli delved into the progress that the foundation has made and how they have stayed true to their mission and values, later sharing their mantra ‘spend to impact, not to budget’.

For more on their work, visit the website.

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