Adding nonfamily trustees and community voices to your family foundation board

There are resources available from this event.

To access, please LOGIN or JOIN THE FAMILY.

What are the signs that your foundation’s board might benefit from adding a community leader to bring new energy and a fresh voice to board deliberations and decisions? Some family foundations have never had an outside trustee on the board and don’t want one. Others have had non-family trustees since their inception—either a friend or business associate of the founder, a trusted lawyer or accountant, or a program expert or local community leader respected by the family. Join this webinar featuring representatives of family foundations that have made the choice to engage non-family trustees – hear more about why they made this decision, what questions and challenges they addressed in the process of adding non-family trustees, and what has – and has not – worked. Also: What are the reasons your board may wish to add non-family trustees? What process can your board use to decide how many non-family trustees to invite, and what qualifications and characteristics to look for? How should we go about the search and invitation process for non-family trustees? What are the biggest advantages to having new voices at the table? Are there any disadvantages or challenges?

Featured Speakers

Richard Moore

Richard “Skip” Moore is the past president of the Weaver Foundation, a family foundation serving Greensboro,…

View Profile

Katherine Weaver

Katherine Weaver is Chair of the Weaver Foundation, which was founded by her husband Mike and…

View Profile

Diane Kaplan

Diane Kaplan was named president of the Anchorage-based Rasmuson Foundation, one of the largest private foundations…

View Profile

Alan Fox

Alan C. Fox  is the founder and chairman of the board of the Frieda C. Fox…

View Profile

Adam Gibbons

Adam C. Gibbons has served on the Board of Directors of the Rasmuson Foundation since 2005.…

View Profile

What others have said...

Enjoyed hearing the real life experiences of adding or having non family board members.


Appreciated the emphasis on hearing new voices from the community and the low risk and high reward of including non-family members.


Interested to hear that a “true” non-family member should be someone not connected to the family, so putting on a family attorney or CPA that have a connection to the family is not necessarily good enough. Think outside the inner circle for more diversity!


The value of non-family board members is their willingness to engage in conversation, participate in debate, and challenge family board members on issues when necessary.


This webinar provided helpful fodder that we as staff can use to convince the board of the benefits of adding non-family trustees.


Additional questions? Contact NCFP

Get Involved

Search Knowledge Center for Resources!

We’re here to help you on your philanthropic journey. Contact NCFP for support!

Get Assistance

Keep up with trends in family philanthropy. Subscribe to our newsletter!


Family philanthropy improves the quality of life for all. Join our family!

Join Now