Trustee Position Description sample

_______ Foundation
Position Description

Position Title: TRUSTEE

Reports to: Fellow Trustees

Date: June 2008

The mission of the _____ Foundation, a family foundation, is to improve the quality of life through grants to charitable organizations. Trustees are responsible for the governance of the Foundation and report to the Directors. Trustees are organized into grant groups and committees. 

Responsibilities:1. Defining and overseeing the mission, grantmaking program goals and values of the Foundation, and periodically evaluating the Foundation’s effectiveness in meeting or carrying them out. Ensuring that the Foundation achieves its purpose while maintaining loyalty to the Founder’s intention and while operating within its stated By-Laws. 

2. Developing governing policies and procedures that set standards for quality, ethics, and prudence in Foundation operations. Periodically reviewing governing policies and procedures and evaluating their effectiveness, e.g., in defining expectations for grantmaking programs, the Foundation’s performance, and the prudent use of funds and management of assets.

3. Managing and overseeing the Foundation’s financial assets, budget and expenses. Establishing fiscal policy and defining investment goals. Monitoring the management of investments, financial controls and systems for fiscal accountability.

4. Ensure that the Foundation operates according to the legal and fiduciary requirements of both state and federal governments.

5. Setting the strategic direction of the Foundation through a plan, e.g., for succession and governance, asset and Foundation management, and attainment of grantmaking goals. 

6. Attending semi-annual board meetings, generational grant group and various committee meetings, and reviewing material prior to the meetings to assure meaningful participation and good use of everyone’s time.

7. Attending periodic training programs designed for foundation trustees, including an initial orientation and training program, ideally within the first two years of appointment.

8. Performing related responsibilities as required.

Must be 21 years of age and either a lineal descendant of ______, or one who is adopted into the family before the age of 4.  

Preferred Qualities
Willingness to work:  to give time and thought to the affairs of the foundation, to arrange one’s personal schedule so as to be available to attend meetings, to serve on committees, to undertake special assignments, and to wrestle with issues of the foundation.

Practical wisdom:  the capacity to see the whole picture, to recognize the validity of opposing arguments, to distinguish principle from expediency and to temper the ideal with what is realistically possible.

Capacity for harmonious teamwork, for arriving at and accepting group decisions; the ability to disagree while maintaining respect for fellow Trustees.

Awareness of unwritten rules of behavior or conventional business protocol, such as not disparaging Foundation policies, guidelines or fellow Trustees (e.g., who might hold opposing viewpoints) among potential grantees.