Posts tagged to 'Board roles and responsibilities'

10 mistakes new foundation boards make, and how to avoid them

Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly on March 24, 2016

While some new foundation boards may be made up of veteran philanthropists, it's a safe wager that many of those entrusted are taking on the job for the first time. It's a big responsibility, and many of the early choices made by a new board can determine whether the new foundation will move forward smoothly and effectively or become mired in a culture or in policies that stifle effectiveness.

Generations Together: Tools for teaching the next generation to give

Posted 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.

Good governance: How should family foundation boards spend their time?

Posted by Phillip Henderson on February 9, 2016

Checks landing in the mailboxes of nonprofit organizations with foundation return ad-dresses have long been considered philanthropy’s most important currency. Reflecting that view, family foundations have tended to focus their operations, self-image, and their very reasons for being on getting the dollars out the door...Lurking behind that 90 percent, though, is another story—it’s the natural tendency to conflate family governance of a foundation and strategic control of its mission with control of the grantmaking function.

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...

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.

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?

How does the role of a family foundation chair differ from that of other non-profit entities?

Posted by Alice Buhl , Kelly Sweeney McShane and Virginia Esposito on April 22, 2015

This month we are delighted to feature a question recently asked in our April webinar, The critical role of the board chair in family philanthropy. This wide-ranging conversation on the critical role of the board chair in family philanthropy featured international family foundation experts Virginia Esposito and Alice Buhl along with two experienced and thoughtful family foundation leaders.

Reflections from the Trustee Education Institute: A bootcamp for stewarding your family’s philanthropic assets

Posted by Katherine Lorenz on November 18, 2014

The National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) has been an invaluable resource for me as I navigate the tumultuous waters of helping to direct my family’s foundation. I was first invited to participate in the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation in 2004, soon after I turned 25....

Can you recommend a short video on family foundation board responsibilities?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on June 22, 2014

As a matter of fact, we can! We're pleased to share our new video, "So you want to be a family foundation board member," created especially for teenagers and young adults in search of a quick and lighthearted introduction to the many responsibilities of being a family foundation board member:     Also...

How to create and make the most out of our foundation's mission statement?

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on January 21, 2014

We have received inquiries from many family foundations who are trying to craft a mission statement for the first time or are re-imagining their current mission.  This Ask the Center is excerpted from a 2007 piece written by Kevin Laskowksi “Where We Go From Here: Crafting a Family Mission Statement”....

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