A Place at the Table: Non-Family Membership on the Family Foundation Board

Family giving comes from a common cause, a shared vision, a particular need for giving back a portion of life’s gifts. Family members can focus on shared personal interests and can shape the architecture of their giving by expressing and validating shared family experience. Foundation board service can be the means by which family members find a new and worthwhile purpose, thereby making theirindividual contributions special in the community and the world.

When a family foundation board works as a team—with harmony of vision, purpose, and shared expertise—it may see no real need to bring in outside members. The family itself is the board’s first and greatest resource. But circumstances may arise where family members are not fully able to meet the board’s need for expertise or goals for future governance. More may be required.

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? Read more about the advantages, challenges, questions, and opportunities of engaging non-family trustees on a family foundation board.

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Board Composition, Diversity, and Recruitment

This Content Collection provides resources, perspectives, and sample polices for families and boards thinking about board composition and recruitment, both within and outside the family. Included are resources on the advantages, challenges, questions, and opportunities of engaging non-family trustees on a family foundation board and of promoting diversity and inclusion in the field of family philanthropy at large.

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