Posts tagged to 'Board decision-making'
by Virginia Esposito
on March 1, 2016
According to the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s recent 2015 Trends Study, nearly 3 in 5 U.S. family foundations engage younger family members in the foundation — and more than 40% say they expect to add to or increase the number of younger-generation family members on their boards in just the next four years. This is an encouraging trend — especially for those of us who believe that these important institutions can have a much greater impact if they can keep the family productively engaged in their work.
by Audrey Haberman
and Sindhu Knotz
on February 16, 2016
Last October, we had the pleasure of hosting a conversation with a group of ten family foundations attending the National Forum on Family Philanthropy in Seattle. The session was focused on how foundation leaders can begin to address the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with your staff and trustees. Through storytelling about successes, and a discussion about mistakes and anxieties related to DEI, the group identified five essential practices any family foundation should consider to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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...
For much of the 20th century, the vast majority of U.S. foundations operated under the assumption that they would be in business forever. However, as a new generation of family philanthropists take over — and families contemplate just how long forever actually lasts — a growing number are deciding that they would rather spend down their assets during a set period of time than manage their endowments in perpetuity.
"If you are welcoming the next generation, it's a wonderful time to sit down and reevaluate what you're doing because, even if you're doing wonderful things, people want to feel engaged. So, even if you go through a strategic planning process and you decide, 'we're going to continue to do the same...
"Part of the reason this project is so important now is that so many family foundations are new to this work, having been founded or at least organized since the beginning of this millennium. Many philanthropic families are in a moment of transition where there's new leadership that needs to come in,...
by Elaine Gast Fawcett
on December 15, 2014
Conflict is normal in any family or organization. Yet, many of us avoid conflicts, even if that avoidance affects relationships or how the foundation operates. This month in FGN we feature Part 2 of a two-part series excerpted from our forthcoming Passages Issue Brief on “Avoiding avoidance.” In Part 1 we introduced the nature of conflict and some of the most common conflicts in family philanthropy. In this month's issue we share a variety of healthy tools for calling out and addressing conflict in a healthy, productive way, along with suggestions for when outside help may be needed.
"You shouldn't try to avoid conflicts of interest, because they're impossible to avoid. At some point, they will come up. The way to handle a conflict is to be trained about what may come up, to be very clear about disclosing them, and to make sure that disinterested, non-conflicted people are...
by Elaine Gast Fawcett
on November 18, 2014
Conflict is normal in any family or organization. Yet, many of us avoid conflicts, even if that avoidance affects relationships or how the foundation operates. This month in FGN we feature Part 1 of a two-part series excerpted from our forthcoming Passages Issue Brief on “Avoiding avoidance.” In Part 1 we’ll introduce the nature of conflict and some of the most common conflicts in family philanthropy. Next month, in Part 2, we will share creative “tactics” boards use to perpetuate the avoidance, and how you can use simple tools to call out and address conflict in a healthy, productive way.
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by John Hawkins
on October 19, 2014
John Hawkins, a board member and great-grandson of Surdna’s founder John E. Andrus, discusses the evolution of the Surdna board’s thinking on impact investing. Hawkins describes the contours leading to the board’s eventual embrace of a PRI fund and the how the family’s values informed that decision.