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2020 Trustee Education Institute

Posted on December 22, 2019 by Christopher Fletcher, Jennifer Davis, Robin Snidow, Laura Collins, Paul Liu, Greg Ratliff, Kathleen Simpson, Tamara Larsen, Dana Lanza, Shaady Salehi

past TEI attendees
Attendees, please visit the event website for the most up-to-date agenda and Zoom links. The website passcode was emailed to all registrants. NCFP’s Trustee Education Institute provides a comprehensive introduction to important legal, investment, ethical, grantmaking, and family dynamics issues facing family foundation board members. Featuring a faculty made up of donors, board members, and highly respected philanthropy experts, this… Read More

As a Grantmaker, Should I Use a Multi-Year Grant or a Short-Term Grant?

Posted on June 20, 2017 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

Each grant is meant to help with the progression of a particular project. Depending on the project, the financial need will vary. For grantmakers that are weary of particular grantseekers it could be sensible to do a short-term grant. It would also be helpful to create deadlines and expectations. Another advantage of a short-term grant is that it has a… Read More

What is a private operating foundation, and should we consider using this option?

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Jason Born

The IRS distinguishes between public and private foundations and, within private foundations, between operating and non-operating (grant-making) foundations. While private operating foundations may choose to make some grants to other charitable organizations, they must engage primarily in direct charitable activities by running their own programs (i.e., using their own facilities, staff and resources to directly further their charitable operations)… Read More

How Do We Ensure That the Family Will Not Lose “Control” of the Foundation Over Time?

Posted on May 3, 2016 by National Center for Family Philanthropy

There are a variety of strategies that family foundations around the country have used to retain control while engaging non-family board members in their work. These strategies may be used alone or in combination, and may include the following: Strategy 1: Create term limits for current board members. A technique used by many family foundations, term limits can be a… Read More

How Long Should a Foundation Keep Grantee Reports?

Posted on February 19, 2016 by Andras Kosaras, James P. Joseph

Are there legal requirements, IRS or other, for foundations regarding receiving and retaining paperwork from grantees that documents how grant dollars were spent? A good rule of thumb is to keep grant materials for seven years. We suggest four years at a minimum. The IRS audit statute of limitations is three years. So, it is important to keep grant materials… Read More

Are There Any Lobbying Red Flags to Look Out for in Final Grantee Reports to Our Foundation?

Posted on February 18, 2016 by Andras Kosaras, James P. Joseph

Are there any lobbying red flags to look out for in final grantee reports to our foundation? The foundation should look at grantee reports for lobbying flags or electioneering flags. If grantees are not following the rules it is better to know sooner rather than later. This way it can be corrected going forward. For more information, see The Rules… Read More

Recusals: When Should Board Members Excuse Themselves?

Posted on February 18, 2016 by Andras Kosaras, James P. Joseph

If five out of our six board members are on another board of a non-profit, how do we make grants to that non-profit without a majority vote? What are the rules on recusals? This is a little tricky but the members are not required to recuse themselves as long as everyone discloses their relationship with the non-profit. However, if five… Read More

How Should a Foundation Deal with a Obvious Self-Dealing Situation if it Was Set Up by Our Legal Counsel?

Posted on February 16, 2016 by Andras Kosaras, James P. Joseph

If a family foundation’s attorney designs an obviously self-dealing relationship on behalf of one of the foundation’s trustees, and with the awareness and participation of all of the other foundation trustees, does the foundation remain free of liability for taxation or penalty, simply because legal counsel designed and approved the relationship? Is there any legal accountability on the part of… Read More

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