Contributions

The family foundation life cycle and the role of consultants

Posted on January 20, 2016 by Mary Phillips, Susan Schwartz, Suzanna Stribling

Family foundations come with a unique set of dynamics, like their dedication to preserving a legacy and to sharing decision-making among family members. These dynamics are often a significant influence on a foundation's governance and operations, and they can also extend to how family foundations' experiences with consultants differ from those of other foundations or nonprofits… Read More

Collaborating Across Power Differences

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Miki Kashtan

Power dynamics can really get in the way when you are trying to build a healthy, strong organization. If family foundations and their grantee partners don’t see eye to eye, or if junior members of the family pose challenges to their board leaders or elders, the back-and-forth struggle isn’t just uncomfortable; it can undermine the organizational stability and compromise impact… Read More

A Colleague’s Perspective on Trustee Orientation

Posted on November 8, 2014

“Becoming a trustee of a family foundation can be a complex, confusing and confounding experience. Suddenly you are thrust into a room full of persons whom you thought you knew, but now they are all in different roles.” So begins the introduction to this first-person account of the value of a thoughtful and comprehensive trustee orientation program… Read More

Navigating Leadership Transitions in Family Philanthropy

Posted on June 12, 2014 by Virginia M. Esposito, Betsy Brill, Dean Phillips, Dinaz Mansuri, Patrick Troska

Every family philanthropy experiences the joy, the sadness, the complexity, and the energy of transitions. Moving toward new leadership in the family can be difficult, emotional, and sometimes frustrating. However, when it is done deliberately and thoughtfully, these times of transition can also be positive for all involved. … Read More

A Legacy Lives On: The Kaplan Family Foundation’s Successful Leadership Transition

Posted on December 18, 2013 by Dinaz Mansuri, Mollie Bunis

[Photo: Members of the next generation of the Kaplan family gather to discuss strategy.] Ask any family member and they are usually able to identify the current family leader. This is the person around whom everyone gathers; the person who takes responsibility for family networking, intervenes in family disputes, reminds others of the family’s history and generally serves as the… Read More

Do we need formal policies on trustee selection, orientation, and evaluation?

Posted on December 11, 2013 by Michael Rion

Although there are no legal requirements, commitment to responsible trusteeship includes ensuring that such policies and procedures appropriate to the size and nature of the board are in place. For many foundations, this may mean nothing more than a mutual understanding between two spouses or siblings that review and evaluation of one another’s actions as trustees is appropriate when needed… Read More

Board Roles and Operating Guidelines (The Needmor Fund)

Posted on November 6, 2012 by Needmor Fund

The Needmor Fund’s written operating guidelines, including a description of board roles and responsibilities, expectations, election and nominations process, opportunities for family involvement, and description of board officer and committee roles and responsibilities… Read More

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