Family foundation staffing models

Which foundation staffing model is right for your family?

In general, there are four staffing models for family foundations: the administrator, consultant, director and family staff. This quick slide show offers an overview of each to help you choose the right model for your family. Consider how much time family members are likely to devote to the foundation and how much control they might wish to exercise over foundation activities. And remember, your choice of staffing model is almost certain to change as the circumstances of your family and its philanthropy evolve over time.

Family foundation staffing models

Option 1: Administrator model

The foundation is generally housed in a specific office, although the administrator may work for more than one foundation or carry additional duties from a trustee, lawyer or financial advisor related to the foundation. Administrative staff time may also be provided on a pro bono publico basis by one of the trustees. Duties may be full- or part-time, and include:

  • Handling correspondence
  • Answering phone calls
  • Logging in grant requests
  • Tracking grants
  • Arranging meetings
  • Sending letters and grant approvals
  • Making bank deposits
  • Reconciling financial records
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