Posts by Karen Green

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...

The best mistake we ever made: Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation

Posted by Kathleen Odne , Karen Green and Jenifer Getz on October 28, 2015

A sure-fire indicator that we all make mistakes was the capacity crowd at the National Forum on Family Philanthropy workshop in Seattle entitled, “The Best Mistakes We Ever Made.” Using a rapid-fire format, each of ten speakers took three minutes to share a mistake they made in their family philanthropy experience. To set the context, each speaker explained the goal and framework by responding to, “What were you trying to do”? Next they explained, “What happened that was unexpected – in other words, what went wrong?” Finally, and most importantly, we asked the mistake-makers to share, “What did you learn from your mistake?” In other words, how did the foundation changes its practices as a result?

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.

New Year, New Perspectives, New Opportunity

Posted by Karen Green on January 15, 2012

In the weeks leading up to Martin Luther King’s birthday, we’ve been thinking a lot about the important role of diversity in family giving. The National Center’s Board chair, Caroline Avery of the Durfee Foundation, writes in this month’s issue about the new face of philanthropic donors, many of whom...

Returning to Family Philanthropy

Posted by Karen Green on October 15, 2011

As my professional life in family philanthropy resumes, I contemplated metaphors for return. Springing first to mind were bad pennies, prodigal sons, recurring nightmares, boomerangs – scarcely inspiring. My goodness, I worried, are our cultural associations with return so negative?...

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