Update From the Foundation

Winter Update from the Executive Director

February 1, 2011

New Compton Foundation Executive Director, Ellen Friedman, on Spring grants cycle changes and what the foundation is being called to do at this moment in time –

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your warm welcome this fall as I have joined the community of board, staff, foundation and grant partners of the Compton Foundation. The past few months have deepened my understanding of the wide range of work — and impact — of this Foundation. Having been a longtime admirer of the Foundation’s from the outside, I am honored to now be on the inside working with the board and staff to shape its future. The Foundation’s commitment to achieving its mission is steadfast. The board has consistently led this institution with values of equity, justice, thoughtful risk-taking, creativity, and a belief in the power of transformation at the personal, community, and policy level.

The Foundation has also responded creatively to changing times and conditions. We are now at such a time as an organization. With a new Executive Director and new board leadership in place, as well as changing economic realities, we have determined that it is time for an assessment of our work and a look at the question: “What is the Compton Foundation being called to do at this moment in time?” Over the next six to nine months, we will be engaged in a planning process and working together to think about how this Foundation, with its rich and dynamic history, can and should evolve, given the pressing realities of our time.

As a result, we will not have an open grants cycle in the spring of 2011. We will be making a limited number of renewal grants by invitation only during this time. The Family Advisory Board will, however, work through its regular process. In March, it will invite selected groups to submit applications by early June for consideration this summer.

We appreciate that the decision to limit our spring docket will be challenging for those of you planning on applying for new support from the Compton Foundation, and we wish you the best of luck locating funding for your important work from other sources. This unique moment in the Foundation’s history requires that we take some internal time to reflect on where we are, what we are called to do, and how we can continue to be of most service to the public sector. We intend for the Foundation to continue to be a resource for transformational work in the world, and look forward to announcing our new program priorities and grantmaking process by the end of 2011.

Please continue to check our website for periodic updates about our progress.

With respect,

Ellen Friedman


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