Mary Phillips

President, GMA Foundations

Mary Phillips is a founding partner and President of GMA Foundations, where she has worked with foundations for over thirty years.  She leads the firm’s consulting services and specializes in philanthropic program design and assessment, governance, trustee education, planning for transitions, retreat facilitation, foundation start-up services, and foundation management. Mary serves as philanthropic advisor to numerous foundations, families, and individuals.

Mary is a founding member and current Chair of the Steering Committee of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers; a learning community for consultants dedicated to increasing and strengthening philanthropy.  She is a Past Chair of Associated Grant Makers, a New England-wide, regional association of grantmakers, where she served as an officer for 11 years.  She is active in the non-profit community and has presented, facilitated and written for the Council on Foundations, Exponent Philanthropy and the National Center for Family Philanthropy among other local and national philanthropic associations and donor service organizations.


Voices from the Field

Know Your Family Foundation Life Cycle

Posted on January 29, 2020 by Mary Phillips, GMA Foundations

a family with kids plays in a pile of autumn leaves
Editor’s note: This content is authored by Mary Phillips at GMA, where she leads GMA Foundations’ consulting practice. GMA is a content partner of NCFP and the piece appears with permission. By nature, family philanthropy is a deeply meaningful and evolving endeavor. Families are notoriously unique in their approaches to giving together, yet there are common stages and transitions that… Read More

2018 Trustee Education Institute: The Signature Seminar for Family Foundation Board Members

Posted on March 6, 2018 by Virginia M. Esposito, Andrew Schulz, David Grant, Hanh Le, Holli Rivera, Alice Buhl, Leticia Peguero, Lindsey Griffith, Mary Phillips, Nat Chioke Williams

NCFP’s Trustee Education Institute provides a comprehensive introduction to all of the key legal, investment, ethical, grantmaking, and family dynamics issues facing family foundation board members. Featuring a faculty made up of NCFP’s senior staff and highly respected philanthropy experts, this three day, intensive seminar typically covers: What does it mean to be a steward of both the public’s trust… Read More

Good Governance: How to Use Board Committees Effectively

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Amy Rauenhorst Goldman, Caroline J. Sabin, Mary Phillips

The use of committees is one of the most important tools for thoughtful governance in family philanthropy. This webinar will take a deep dive into all the qualities of an effective committee structure. Governance experts and family foundation leaders will share successful committee models as well as conducive leadership and engagement strategies. Come prepared to learn from your peers and… Read More

Get Involved

Search Knowledge Center for Resources!

We’re here to help you on your philanthropic journey. Contact NCFP for support!

Get Assistance

Keep up with trends in family philanthropy. Subscribe to our newsletter!


Family philanthropy improves the quality of life for all. Join our family!

Join Now