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The Bullitt Foundation Announces Plans to Sunset its Grantmaking in 2024

Supporting Existing Grantees Becomes Its Focus

On June 11th, 2019, The Bullitt Foundation announced that it will sunset its grantmaking in 2024.

“When we endowed the Foundation in 1991, we intended to completely spend it down in 10 years,” said Harriet Bullitt, Foundation trustee. “But we invested wisely and have been able to greatly extend its life despite our very generous grant-making programs.”

Over the past 25 years, the Bullitt Foundation has paid out an average of 9 percent of its endowment annually, significantly exceeding the 5 percent requirement set by the Internal Revenue Service. This payout was on top of administrative, investment management, legal, tax accounting, and other expenses. The Foundation does not anticipate any changes in its program areas or geography ahead of the sunset of its grantmaking.

Since 1992, the Foundation has granted more than $200 million, developed the Bullitt Center, permanently protected $100 million in ecologically valuable lands through a revolving loan fund, funded the preparatory work to protect nearly 300,000 acres in national monuments, invested in emerging leaders, and endowed several professorships. It has played a leadership role in emphasizing JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) elements in green grantmaking.

More details about the Foundation’s work can be found in a story published by the Seattle Times, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer also published a brief history of the Foundation.

“We are proud to have played a role, quietly and in the background, to help shape three of the greenest cities in the world,” said Denis Hayes, CEO of the Foundation. “We’ve worked hard to establish a model of deeply sustainable development in this region, and we are now approaching the point when we must pass the torch to the next generation of environmental philanthropists,” he added.

The Foundation has since moved away from an open-invitation process for grant inquiries. Starting October 1, 2022 the Bullitt Foundation will only accept proposals from current grantees who are invited to apply for funding in its last two years of grant making.