Free, Fair & Healthy
Free people in fair societies on a healthy planet. That’s our ambition. It’s a little lofty, but that’s what we love: it’s a perfectly grand vision for a small foundation built from buttercat money.
We think mighty-fine philanthropy sees abundance, not scarcity. It chooses movement over money. Giving over hoarding. It thrives on the unexpected. It rewards risk-takers and rebels — which is lucky for us, because sometimes we like to stir up trouble.
Here’s some more stuff we believe:
Endowment isn’t everything.
We can have a greater impact by using all our money for catalytic change now instead of doling out modest grants indefinitely. That’s why we’re spending our entire endowment. We’re trading organizational immortality for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make waves that will reverberate forever. It’s a different kind of perpetuity, and we call it “spending up.”
What we leave ahead matters most.
We’re not in a hurry to finish a bunch of projects so we can list what we’ve accomplished. We’re more interested in how our work plays out through others after we exit stage left: how they’ll mix and remix our collective work to power us all toward a free, fair and healthy future. We hope what we “leave ahead” will be greater than anything we could possibly leave behind.
Silos are for cows. (Wait, what?)
Someone on our team actually said this once. Of course silos are for grain, not cows, but her point was they’re not meant for foundation programs either. Social issues don’t exist in isolation and their solutions can’t be developed there. Effective strategies for change are organic and free ranging.
Happy accidents happen.
Some of our best work has come from following strong instincts and trusted leaders down ambiguous paths, deliberately making way for the unexpected. After all, our tag line is “full tilt idealism,” not “produce year-end metrics.”
The world needs more "full tilt."
“Don,” as in Quixote, is our shorthand for strong beliefs, relentless caring, high spirits, and the obstinate pursuit of free people in fair societies on a healthy planet. We are Quixote Foundation, and we hope we’ll inspire others to tap their inner “Don” and share our mission. Because frankly, we don’t have the time to force them.