Ask the Center Posts

How Do You Create A Family Foundation?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on November 2, 2017

A former employer of mine has reached out and asked me to help him set up a new family foundation. Prior to now he has been giving around the kitchen table and now he would like to engage his family in a more formal way by possibly creating a family foundation. Can NCFP help us with this journey we are about to begin?

Going on Your First Site Visit? 3 Tools for Success

Posted by Kylie Musolf on May 15, 2017

Nothing beats getting to know your partners and their work up close, and having the opportunity to work together in the community.

Does NCFP have any resources to help my board chair prepare their successor?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on April 7, 2017

NCFP is happy to support this transition and we recommend the following resources to help you get started

Update: Does NCFP have any recommendations for grants management software? Are there any that specifically help family foundations?

Posted by Rachel Ogorek and Kylie Musolf on October 26, 2016

There are so many grant management software options to choose from, so we compiled a list. We reached out to each of these companies and they sent us a brief description of the technology they offer to their clients.

Do you have suggestions for web-based tools we can use to help manage our board meetings and communicate with board members?

Posted by Rachel Ogorek on September 28, 2016

This is a great question! By nature, board meetings require a lot of time and preparation. It can be challenging to ensure all board members have the correct information at the correct time. Thankfully, over the years, different platforms have emerged to help your board be better prepared and engaged.

Do you have any ideas for a brief fun activity to begin a workshop?

Posted by Kylie Musolf on September 8, 2016

I’m glad you reached out to ask about family activities. Some people hate icebreakers, but I am so not one of them!

Is there a database for donors to find great grants/nonprofits to fund?

Posted by National Center for Family Philanthropy on August 4, 2016

Every year, our family foundation considers new causes and grantees to support. Since the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, the foundation staff would like to know if there is a database or another resource that captures great grantseeker requests for funding. To our knowledge there...

Should our foundation communicate externally that we are going to spend out?

Our foundation has made the decision to spend out in roughly 20 years. We have been transparent about this decision with current staff. Are there critical reasons not to communicate this externally at this point?  "I believe it is to your foundation’s benefit to be clear that you intend to spend out...

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...

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