Survivor- Foundation Edition

January Giving Carnival Submission

The year is 2035, foundations have faced increased attention because of the extraordinary success of the Gates and Google Foundations in solving pressing social issues. The Federal government intervened and the following changes to the sector were implemented:

990 is used to apply for foundation funding. A combination of a backward looking 990 form and a strategic planning document for the next fiscal year is used by nonprofits to apply for foundation funding. This online document can be accessed by anyone and individuals and foundations choose to support projects and general operations of organizations that meet their interests. This system keeps a running total on how close a project is to full funding, it also gives donors access to clear outcomes for each organization and project. These systems are funded by the federal government because a 2015 study of the nonprofit sector by the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota found that investments in the infrastructure needs of the nonprofit sector had the best return on investment of any government subsidy. This was a surprise to government officials who thought that sports stadiums had the best return on investment.

Nonprofits are not granted 501(c)(3) status until they have proved the effectiveness of their service model. Nonprofits will begin their existence as a test project of local and national nonprofit incubators. These incubators will be funded jointly by the government and the foundation sectors to support emerging nonprofit organizations. Services of these incubators will include fiscal sponsorship, training, financial services, employee benefits, and administrative support. The role of incubators will be to help these fl edging organizations develop strong programming that will provide a benefit to the community. Ineffective programs will be scrapped or redesigned within two years. (See how this survival of the fittest model could apply to the world of M & M's). Programs that are effective may become a registered 501(c)(3) or more likely will become a program of an existing nonprofit. Matches with existing nonprofits will be made through the collaboration coordinator of the incubator. Nonprofits will be encouraged to take on successful program models because funding for nonprofits will be closely tied to universally accepted effectiveness ratings.

Minimum Foundation payout is not measured in dollars but by return on investment for the community. Once the Federal government understood how much effective nonprofits could save the local and federal government in future spending the 5% minimum payout was reconsidered. A new formula was developed that took into account the return on investment of foundation grants. Foundations that were supporting ineffective programming had an increased minimum payout (15-30%), so that they would spend themselves out of existence. Foundations that made effective grants were then subject to a 7% minimum payout. Foundations then had an increased self-interest in hiring the best training staff possible. Enrollment in philanthropy and public policy master’s degree programs increased exponentially, as did hiring from these programs. Creating a younger and more diverse foundation sector.