Family Councils: the Best Investment a Family Will Ever Make

Posted on February 17, 1997 by Ivan Lansberg

The creation of a family council is one way to restore the balance between business and family life. A successful entrepreneur once told me, “No amount of business success ever makes up for a family failure. If the family is not working right, sooner or later it will bring down your business.” Ten years ago this entrepreneur did something to… Read More

Trustees by Margaret Mahoney

Posted on December 22, 1996 by Margaret E. Mahoney

This seminal essay from the long-time president of the Commonwealth Fund explores the critical roles and responsibilities of foundation trustees, and the duties of responsible boards of directors. Selected excerpts include: “To fulfill a trust, the trustee must act for the benefit of another, not for personal gain. Trustees are in effect moral decision makers.” “Responsible boards are not born… Read More

Always in the family?

Posted on November 8, 1995 by Council on Foundations

Should family foundation board members always be family members? Not necessarily. While some prefer this, others find that a few outside voices can enrich the governance and decision-making of the foundation… Read More

Not in the Family

Posted on June 4, 1995 by Deborah A. Brody

While families can't choose their relatives, they do choose non-family trustees. It's quite common for family foundations to have at least one board member who is not a family member. … Read More

Who’s on the board? – What Constitutes Board Eligibility Among Changing Definitions of “Family”

Posted on August 4, 1993 by Deanne Stone

Like it or not, there is no longer a common definition of "family" for foundations to follow. In many family foundations, the issue of spouses' participation on the board never comes up. It is simply understood that anyone who marries into the family can be considered for board membership. But in other foundations, setting policy regarding spouses is a source of emotional turmoil that pits one family member against another." Explore the definition of "family" and examine board eligibility regarding spouses and live-in partners in this article. … Read More

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