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Section 2: Resource 3

Governing Your Family Foundation

Nothing is more vital to a family foundation’s overall success than good governance. A great board sets the tone for achieving your charitable goals and working with the family to realize those goals.

At the same time, governance is a moving target. It evolves as your family changes and as your foundation work becomes more sophisticated. You will need to revisit policies you adopt now at times of transition in the family and in the foundation. Governance considerations are a continuing part of key board deliberations and decision-making.

Here you will find additional perspectives and suggestions for governing your family foundation. For a wide variety of additional resources on this topic, current NCFP Friends are invited to login to NCFP's Family Philanthropy Online Knowledge Center.

Tune-in (5 minutes)
So you want to be a family foundation trustee? Are you looking for a quick and fun way to introduce them to concept of stewardship and the demands and possible challenges of being a foundation board member? Then this 5-minute video is right for you!
Read (5 minutes)
The Basic Rules for Governing a Family Foundation As a family foundation donor or trustee, you have a variety of important responsibilities as well as prohibited activities, as described in this this special slide show.
Do (15 minutes)
Fist to Five Voting and Consensus Fist to Five is quality voting. It has the elements of consensus built in and can prepare groups to transition into consensus if they wish.
Read (20 minutes)
A Steadying Hand: The critical role of non-family board members This issue brief describes the skills, expertise, and perspectives that non-family board members can provide, as well as common challenges for families seeking to add their first non-family board members.
Tune-in (60 minutes)
Demystifying decision-making in family philanthropy Different kinds of decisions made under varying conditions and circumstances may require different decision-making methods. This webinar shares several alternative approaches to making decisions in family philanthropy. [FRIENDS AND SUBSCRIBERS ONLY]
Tune-in (60 minutes)
Becoming a Successful Board Chair: Tips and Advice from Your Peers Board chairs play an important and indispensable role in family foundations. Much more than just an honorary title, serving as board chair requires extra preparation, time, and specific skillsets. [FRIENDS AND SUBSCRIBERS ONLY]
Tune-in (60 minutes)
Adding nonfamily trustees and community voices to your family foundation board What process can your board use to decide how many non-family trustees to invite, and what qualifications and characteristics to look for? What are the biggest advantages to having new voices at the table? Are there any disadvantages or challenges? [FRIENDS AND SUBSCRIBERS ONLY]