Ask the Center Posts

How can we take effective family foundation board meeting minutes?

Posted by Karen Green and Andras Kosaras on April 1, 2016

Concise, complete, and accurate meeting minutes are vital to the health of a family foundation. These documents are the first thing IRS/state regulators request during an investigation and/or audit into a foundation.

Should we have ex officio members on our board committees?

Posted by Karen Green on February 7, 2016

Our current bylaws state, "The President shall be an ex-officio voting member of all committees." Is this typical or unusual? Is it best practice for a Board Chair and/or President to be an ex officio member of all of a foundation's committees? If so, is this person typically a voting or non-voting...

Can you suggest books for sharing the joy and potential of giving with younger family members?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on December 21, 2015

As NCFP prepares to close for a few days of end-of-the-year celebration and giving of thanks with Friends and Family, we're pleased to share a collection of some of our favorite books for sharing the joy and potential of giving with younger family member, including the new "Hip Family's Guide for Happier Holidays" by NCFP Board member Lisa Parker, president of the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation.

How can we prepare for the death of our founder or donor?

Posted by Suzanne Hammer on December 2, 2015

In this month's edition of "Ask the Center," we are pleased to share a guest post from Suzanne Hammer, founder of Hammer and Associates, discussing the recent passing of her father: "In the midst of a loved one dying, there are many decisions to be made. There’s paperwork and Power of Attorneys and property. There’s money. There’s final wishes and figuring out what do with all the “stuff.” In my experience, the stress of it all sometimes divided us more than it brought us together. We all wanted the best for our dad, and we each had strong opinions on what “the best” meant to us."

What are some points we should consider as a family foundation seeking a non-family board member?

Posted by Susan Packard Orr on October 28, 2015

In this month's Ask the Center, we feature an excerpt from the newest Passages Issue Brief, "A steadying hand: The critical role of non-family board members," written by NCFP Distinguished Fellow Susan Packard Orr. This special PASSAGES provides insight on the various skills, expertise, and perspectives that a non-family board member can provide, as well as the common challenges for families seeking their first non-family board member, and tips for setting clear expectations for this role.

What are some tips for creating virtual site visits?

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly on September 24, 2015

This month we are pleased to feature philanthropy expert, speaker, and advisor, Karen Putnam Walkerly's 8 handy tips for creating effective and meaningful virtual site visits.

How do we ensure that all family members are heard at our upcoming retreat?

Posted by Karen Green on August 25, 2015

This month we are pleased to feature family foundation consultant and facilitator Karen Green's tips for foundation leaders on engaging retreat participants.

How can I help my fellow board members understand the ethical implications of our board make-up and selection process?

Posted by Michael Rion on July 23, 2015

This month we are pleased to feature answers to two of the many questions asked during our December 2014 webinar with Andrew Schulz of Arabella Advisors covering the topic of "What are the rules for donors, family members, and staff of family foundations in terms of accepting tickets to events?"

As our family grows, how do we decide who gets to participate in the philanthropy?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on June 25, 2015

As our philanthropic family grows more diverse and distinct – as well as more geographically distant from the roots of the founders – how do we decide who should participate in the family’s philanthropy and how they will participate?

Why is it important to have an internal mission that is separate and distinct from an external mission?

This month we are delighted to feature a question recently asked in our May webinar, Balancing internal vs. external missions in family philanthropy. This in-depth conversation on successful strategies for thoughtfully defining, measuring, and tracking both internal and external missions in family foundation features Julie Fisher Cummings and Doug Bitonti Stewart from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and Linda Tracy from the Tracy Family Foundation.

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