Advisory board member roles and responsibilities

The Sample Family Foundation’s Declaration of Trust designates two groups of participants:

(1) “Trustees,” all of whom are currently family members and who vote on grants and issues of governance; and

(2) “Advisors” who serve in an advisory capacity without voting power. Advisors are appointed to three-year terms that may be renewed until the Advisor reaches the age of seventy-five (75). Any Advisor may resign at any time by instrument in writing delivered to the Trustees.

Advisors serve three roles:

  1. Attending the annual Sample Foundation meeting, participating in the deliberations therein, and providing advice and counsel;
  2. Providing third-party objectivity to a foundation whose internal operations would otherwise be exposed only to staff and family members; and
  3. Becoming Sample Foundation Trustees in the event that a catastrophic occurrence takes the lives of all Trustees.

Unlike many foundations, the Sample Foundation usually initiates its grantmaking relationships and does not solicit proposals from the nonprofit community. Most of the Foundation’s grants are to organizations with missions that align with family members’ interests. As such, Advisors are not expected to recommend organizations for grants.

If Advisors are approached by organizations wanting to submit a grant proposal to the Foundation, they are expected to inform such parties that the Foundation does not solicit proposals. In any such situations, Advisors may contact the Foundation’s Executive Director or a Trustee to pass along information.

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