We drew these conclusions from analyses of surveys of 145 independent and community foundation CEOs, a review of more than 70 foundation websites, and surveys of more than 15,000 grantees. Three profiles included in the report—Baptist Healing Trust, Central New York Community Foundation, and an anonymous foundation—provide a more in-depth look into what guides how transparent a foundation chooses to be, and what it means in day-to-day practice to be transparent. All three profiles point to the values of a foundation’s leaders as a key determining factor.
It’s clear from our research that foundation transparency matters, both to foundation leaders and to grantees. Yet, in some areas, there is significant room for improvement in the degree to which foundations’ practices match the beliefs of their leaders about what is important to increase foundation effectiveness.