As a family and board member of the Educational Foundation of America for the past several years, when I talk to friends about heading off to a family foundation meeting, the general response is how lucky I am to be able to do that—give money away.  What fun it must be! Well, we all know that family foundation meetings, spanning days of hours in a board room, can sometimes be anything but fun. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone looked forward to the meetings rather than simply seeing it as endless hours of work in a windowless room? How do you put the fun and meaningfulness back into the foundation meetings and get everyone effectively engaged? 

I would love your help in exploring the issue, hearing your experiences and learnings. Whether you are a board member, staff member, new to the foundation, or have tons of experience, your insight would be of value. Interested? If so, join me in a networking group on putting the fun back into the foundation. Over the course of a few months we will likely touch upon topics such as the following:

  • What do/did you love about attending family foundation meetings – why did you start attending and what made you return?
  • What are the barriers to full participation in meetings for various individuals related to the foundation?
  • How do you handle conflict effectively in the meeting?
  • What activities are most meaningful in building knowledge of the work and relationships within the foundation?
  • What are the logistics in pulling off a fun meeting?  When do you schedule activities and how do you ensure adequate time for all the needed board business?

Together we will share great ideas and experiences with one another and create a toolkit of for the family foundation community. 

To join the networking group, please register on the NCFP website.  We will schedule several monthly teleconference calls that cover many of the discussion topics listed above and create a living document for putting the fun back into family foundations. Folks may join for as many or as few of the teleconference calls as they would like. We look forward to learning together.