Sunsetting the Sauer Family Foundation

At the end of February, we made the announcement that the Sauer Family Foundation will be sunsetting over the next five years, closing its doors by December 31, 2028. This timeline gives us plenty of time to spend out the Foundation’s assets in a thoughtful way.

Often there are mixed feelings when knowing that something is coming to an end. In this case, it feels like the right decision so there is a sense of peace about it, but it is also sad. I think about the relationships the Sauers have had over the 27 years the Foundation has been in existence and the relationships I have had in the 18 years I have had the privilege to be the Executive Director. There are so many wonderful people doing amazing work in our communities! It has been such an honor to get to witness their work to increase the well-being of children and families.

The news may have been shocking to some of our grantees. But I hope they see the value of the Sauer Family Foundation putting the assets in the community to make a difference now. It is a different approach from traditional philanthropy that holds most of the assets in investments and gives the required 5% to nonprofits. I hope they see our intention to have a bigger impact now; to help children and families that need help now.

The Foundation’s work will be “business as usual” which means the current funding areas will not change and the process for submitting a grant proposal will not change over the next four years. In the next two years, staff will take time to work with individual grantees to plan our exit grants, so their good work continues to move forward after we are done. Our staff and trustees are spending this year planning the activity for the final year.

The Board of Trustees, my staff and I feel so grateful for the work our grantees have been doing in the community. Thank you for being the hands and feet for serving children and families. This isn’t goodbye. Five years is a long time; time enough to continue to do good work together.

– Colleen