Non-profit

S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Website:

sdbjrfoundation.org/

Location:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Tax ID:

20-3759208

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $6,476,129
Expenses: $59,808,454
Assets: $67,419,693

Type:

Private Foundation [28]

Founded:

1957

Chairman:

Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr.

The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation was a private grant maker started in 1957 by Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr, grandson of the founder of the engineering firm Bechtel Corporation, and CEO for 30 years. The Foundation concluded operations on December 31, 2020. [1] Bechtel passed away on March 15, 2021. [2]

In 2009, Bechtel and the foundation board decided to spend down all assets by the end of 2020, and to focus on K-8 STEM education and land and water conservation in California. They also funded policy advocacy on a variety of California issues, including immigration.

Background

The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation was started in 1957 by Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. [3] Bechtel was the grandson of the founder of the engineering firm Bechtel Corporation and was its CEO for 30 years. [4]

The foundation started small and supported local efforts in California’s Bay Area. In the 1990s, the size and breadth of its donations and grants grew. [5]

In 2009, Bechtel made the decision to focus the foundation’s donations and grants on California issues. [6] Also in 2009, the board decided to spend down the foundation’s assets by the end of 2020, citing California’s immediate needs as the reason. [7]

As a result of these 2009 decisions, the foundation designed a program that focused on education, primarily K-8 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and the environment, primarily water and land conservation. [8] An additional area of special project funding during the spend-down years focused on making grants to support policy and advocacy that would impact perceived threats to California’s democratic institutions, based on the current policies and events. [9] Examples of these included contributions to Public Advocates, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF),  and National Immigration Law Center. [10]

Public Advocates is a left-of-center advocacy group and public interest law firm located in San Francisco, California that focuses on issues such as education, housing, transportation, and climate. [11] Environmental Defense Fund is a nonprofit environmental group known for its advocacy for a liberal expansion of environmentalist policies, such as a federally mandated decrease in carbon emissions. [12] National Immigration Law Center is a nonprofit advocacy group located in Los Angeles, CA that advocates for liberal expansionist immigration policies. [13]

In 2018, the foundation formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to oversee grantmaking as relates to women, and racial and ethnic minorities. [14]

On December 31, 2020, the foundation concluded operations. [15]

Financials and Contributions

In 2009, Bechtel decided he wanted the foundation to focus on what he felt were pressing issues in California. At that time, the foundation had $182 million and gave away $17 million. Since then, the foundation increased the size of its grants and became more focused on identifying recipients that would provide the most impact in the areas the foundation supported. [16]

From 2009, when the spend-down decision was made, to 2020, when it closed, the foundation gave out over $1 billion. [17] The 2019 tax return indicates that the foundation paid out grants and contributions of $88,681,764. [18]

The largest contributions in education included $8,820,603 to Wested in San Francisco and $3,409,910 to Learning Policy Institute in Palo Alto, California. [19] WestEd is a nonprofit research, development, and service agency focused on education. [20] Learning Policy Institute is a research organization focused on shaping education policy. [21]

The largest contributions in the environment space included $7,914,171 to Windward Fund in Washington, D.C., and $3,624,994 to The Nature Conservancy located in San Francisco. [22] Windward Fund is a fiscal sponsor of various community-based environmentalist projects associated with the left-leaning Arabella Advisors advocacy network. [23] The Nature Conservancy is the world’s largest conservation organization, with a goal to impact government policy relating to climate change and land and water preservation. [24]

Leadership

Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr was chairman of the board of directors. Bechtel was born in 1925 and passed away on March 15, 2021. Bechtel was former chairman and CEO of the Bechtel Corporation, a major global engineering and construction company. [25]

Lauren B. Dachs was president of the foundation, and vice chair or the board of directors. [26] Dachs is Bechtel’s daughter. [27]

References

  1. S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Accessed September 30, 2021. http://sdbjrfoundation.org/ ^
  2. “Retired Chairman and CEO Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. dies at 95.” Yahoo – Finance. March 15, 2021. Accessed October 2, 2021. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/retired-chairman-ceo-stephen-d-024500097.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAMBFo5zqTmAwzbzBtWygwTp09iizgHOEcIdiwtvb_4r9adp13vrelTv7bPt3lDzjfVP3DLJZs27zDZYdVRqJG-q5YKEYKVm6ESHpDHi3BzV6XqoUa1vJZHHnnVHX4AdYfzPO6dOP04SIEPP4WWC2BBGwpFOk80uKpoohUCYxRRA1 ^
  3. “History.” S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Accessed September 29, 2021. http://sdbjrfoundation.org/the-foundation/history/ ^
  4. “A New Generation Seeks to Give It All Away Now.” New York Times. January 17, 2020. Accessed September 29, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/17/your-money/philanthropy-family-foundations.html?searchResultPosition=1 ^
  5. “Sooner Rather Than Later, Prologue: 1957 to 2008.” S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation – The Foundation – Spending Down. Accessed October 1, 2021. http://sdbjrfoundation.org/the-foundation/spending/ ^
  6. “A New Generation Seeks to Give It All Away Now.” New York Times. January 17, 2020. Accessed September 29, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/17/your-money/philanthropy-family-foundations.html?searchResultPosition=1 ^
  7. “Financials.” S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Accessed September 30, 2021. http://sdbjrfoundation.org/the-foundation/financials/ ^
  8. “Sooner Rather Than Later, Chapter 1: 2009 to 2013.” S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation – Financials – Spend Down Story. Accessed September 30, 2021. http://sdbjrfoundation.org/the-foundation/financials/ ^
  9. “Sooner Rather Than Later, Chapter 3: 2018 to 2020.” S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation – Financials – Spend Down Story. Accessed September 30, 2021. http://sdbjrfoundation.org/the-foundation/financials/ ^
  10. S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF, Part XV). 2019. ^
  11. Public Advocates. Accessed October 2, 2021. https://www.publicadvocates.org/ ^
  12. “Blue Print 2020.” EDF. Accessed October 2, 2021. https://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/content/strategicplan_blueprint2020_interactive.pdf ^
  13. National Immigration Law Center – About Us – What We Do. Accessed August 23, 2021. https://www.nilc.org/about-us/what_we_do/ ^
  14. “Sooner Rather Than Later: Chapter 3: 2018 to 2020.” S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation – Financials – Spend Down Story. Accessed September 30, 2021. http://sdbjrfoundation.org/the-foundation/financials/ ^
  15. S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Accessed September 30, 2021. http://sdbjrfoundation.org/ ^
  16. “A New Generation Seeks to Give It All Away Now.” New York Times. January 17, 2020. Accessed September 29, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/17/your-money/philanthropy-family-foundations.html?searchResultPosition=1 ^
  17. “Sooner Rather Than Later: Chapter 3: 2018 to 2020.” S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation – Financials – Spend Down Story. Accessed October 2, 2021. http://sdbjrfoundation.org/the-foundation/financials/ ^
  18. S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF, Part I). 2019. ^
  19. S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF, Part XV). 2019. ^
  20. LinkedIn – WestEd. Accessed October 2, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/company/wested/ ^
  21. “About the Institute.” Learning Policy Institute. Accessed October 2, 2021. https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/about ^
  22. S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF, Part XV). 2019. ^
  23. Windward Fund. Accessed October 2, 2021. https://www.windwardfund.org/ ^
  24. “Our Federal Policy Work in the United States.” The Nature Conservancy. Accessed October, 2, 2021. https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/who-we-are/how-we-work/policy/conservation/ ^
  25. [1] “Remembering Steve Jr.” Bechtel. Accessed September 29, 2021. https://www.bechtel.com/stephen-bechtel-jr/ ^
  26. “Staff.” Lauren B. Dachs bio. Accessed October 2, 2021. http://sdbjrfoundation.org/board-and-staff/ ^
  27. “Conversations with Distinguished Citizens: Lauren Dachs and The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.” Commonwealth Club. https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/podcast/conversations-distinguished-citizens-lauren-dachs-and-s-d-bechtel-jr ^
  28. Guidestar Profile. S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Accessed September 29, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/20-3759208 ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 2006

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form PF $6,476,129 $59,808,454 $67,419,693 $16,581,617 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Dec Form PF $141,300,681 $71,979,720 $383,143,404 $87,341,104 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $82,827,855 $154,493,771 $379,984,623 $129,573,829 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $120,746,744 $84,386,718 $421,626,337 $96,121,211 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $77,770,955 $79,973,393 $339,549,608 $84,199,519 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $90,308,083 $57,958,898 $311,573,209 $69,485,288 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

    PO BOX 193809
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94119-3809