Ask the Center Posts

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...

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."

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