The Helen F. Whitaker Fund
WolfBrown worked with The Whitaker Fund over a period of several years - first to do a comprehensive evaluation of the Fund’s programs and activities in support of classical music, and then to assist the Fund in conducting its grantmaking with maximum effect. In later years, the consultants’ work was extended to helping the Fund develop and execute an orderly spend-down plan that will result in the termination of all grantmaking. To facilitate spend-down, the Fund for the first time began to entertain requests for program endowment. The consultants conducted a series of field investigations in such areas as conductor training, festivals, composer organizations, awards competitions, and so forth in order to help the Fund identify organizations in each area who would be the best recipients of its support. In addition to helping develop a successful strategy for spend-down, the consultants provided other essential services, including drafting write-ups and recommendations on regular grant requests, composing guidelines, and introducing the Fund to other foundations in order to develop strategic partnerships with them.

Over the course of 9 years, WolfBrown provided research, analysis, logistical, and other forms of support to the Helen F. Whitaker Foundation as it pursued a spend-down strategy developed with the help of the consultants. The foundation focused its giving on successful programs and organizations dedicated to fostering Western classical music. The result was that tens of millions of new dollars — including Whitaker grants and matching gifts — were committed to ongoing program support, creation or expansion of program endowments, the advanced training of talented musicians, and other undertakings that had a profound impact on classical music in the United States.