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Module 2: Unit 7

Governance

A family foundation can not give effectively without a solid practice of governance. 

This unit will provide you with resources and examples of family's that have effective governance strategies. It also includes tips on how your own family can govern the foundation effectively.

Read (90+ minutes)
Generations of giving: Leadership and continuity in family foundations Generations of Giving: Leadership and Continuity in Family Foundations examines continuity and leadership over time within family foundations. Read this book to gain some beginning insights on family foundation governance.
Tune-in (60 minutes)
Toeing the line: Addressing common legal pitfalls in family foundation governance This NCFP webinar features Andrew Schultz, a legal expert on family foundations, who addresses the most common dilemmas and areas for concern facing family foundation boards.
Read (5 minutes)
Getting oriented This brief program for orienting new trustees is an indispensable step for foundations to maximize the value and benefits of their boards.
Read (5 minutes)
10 things every new foundation board member should know This publication is designed as a basic guide for new foundation board members, providing an introduction to tools and knowledge essential in your first years of service on the board of a foundation.
Tune-in (30 minutes)
Perspectives on family philanthropy Watch this recorded panel that focuses on how families make philanthropic decisions. Three local families are featured and offer multi-generational perspectives on governance and family decisions.
Do (15 minutes)

generations-gamesThe name game

Not everyone may know who is involved in governing the foundations or what they do. A fun game like this may introduce next generation family members to everyone involved in their family's philanthropy.

Completing the Activity: Write the name of each person in the room on a sticky note. Making sure that the person can't see it, stick a note to their forehead that has a name other than their's written on it.

When everyone has a sticky note the people can mingle and walk around the room asking the sort of questions that can be answered by "yes", "no" and "not applicable" to try to discover whose name is on their forehead.

When everyone has guessed and determined what name was on their forehead discuss the activity by having everyone in the room share one thing they learned about someone that they hadn't known before.

Do (90+ minutes)

family-large-multi-genTreasure hunt

Before a family foundation can have effective governance they must first get to know and understand the key players within a family's governing system. One way to do this is through service projects that bring the family and staff together.

Completing the Activity: Each family member, board member, or staff should be encouraged to look in their closets and storage at home.

Each person should find kitchen tools, dishes, towels and sheets, toys, books, school supplies, etc. that is not being used, hasn’t been used in a long time, or is just an extra. When all of these things have been collected everyone should go together to donate to a program that sets up families in new homes.

After this is done the entire team should debrief, discuss the experience, and disclose what was learned from it.