George Family Foundation: Responsibilities of the Board Chair

Oversee fulfillment of the mission and goals of the foundation:

  • Make sure GFF is serving society effectively and fulfilling its strategic and organizational goals
  • Periodically revisit the mission, operating principles, “Constitution” of the GFF
  • Be a spokesperson with influential audiences in focus areas of key interest
  • Engage with activities that involve promoting the GFF “brand” (PR, written materials, etc.)
  • Regularly review strategic plan for alignment with the mission and goals
  • Maintain strong relationships with a few key grantees who are also thought partners
  • Remain au courant as to where broader movement is taking place in our focus areas
  • Engage in internal and external discussions of particular interest or importance, as appropriate

Create a board culture in which board members are knowledgeable, appropriately engaged, and contributing to the GFF:

  • Provide information of importance to the board outside of board meetings
  • Genuinely seek input on how the board will operate/be structured
  • Involve board in high level questions about the future direction of the foundation
  • Educate new board members on what it means to be a good board member of the GFF
  • Assure that GFF board is following best practices for boards of its type and size

Ensure the GFF is well managed:

  • Select talented operational head of foundation, provide on-going feedback and development opportunities, evaluate his/her leadership, compensate appropriately
  • Partner with ED/President on high level matters, leaving operational decisions to him/her
  • Assess ED/President’s performance annually
  • Participate in decisions about personnel hires/structure of the office to ensure alignment with GFF culture and goals
  • With the ED/President, review the budget and investment performance on a quarterly basis
  • Ensure that policies and procedures are current and follow best practices for a foundation of our size.

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Family Foundation Board Chair Roles and Responsibilities

This Content Collection provides a variety of tips and perspectives from current board chairs about how to manage this vital role in family philanthropy.

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