Retrospective: Making a Difference for Bay Area Youth: The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation’s Bay Area Youth Development Grants 2008-2015

by Jill Blair

Nov 1, 2017

In 2020, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation concluded operations, following 64 years of grantmaking and a 2009 decision to spend down its assets. During the 12-year spend-down period, as the Foundation made and implemented decisions about its final initiatives and areas of emphasis, a number of lines of work were concluded. The salient aspects of many of these efforts were documented by the Foundation through retrospectives, which were originally intended to support internal learning but were also made public. 

This retrospective summarizes the Foundation's Bay Area youth development grantmaking, sharing the perspective of selected grantees through direct quotes. The case studies explore how grantees experienced the Foundation as a funder and partner in their work, and what was accomplished with the grant funds awarded. The report also includes a short set of lessons and recommendations based on observations of and feedback from the field.