Strategic plan framework (McKnight Foundation)

Posted on December 22, 2012

In 2011, the McKnight Foundation’s board and staff engaged in an external scan to consider major trends and patterns in our external context and to develop a shared sense of what these mean for our work. The foundation considered a set of three questions — What?, So What?, and Now What? — a useful discussion model to explore and reflect… Read More

A Letter to Seniors (and will be seniors): Planning for Your Future in Philanthropy

Posted on September 13, 2011 by Alice Buhl

Their stories are fascinating reminders of the many philanthropic paths available, whatever your age. Their stories fall into four categories of approaches to how they planned their own as well as their family’s philanthropic futures: senior generation members who chose to stay actively involved in leading the family’s foundation. seniors who passed on leadership but stayed active in the foundation… Read More

Choosing and Preparing Your Grantmaking Successors

Posted on March 4, 2010 by Mary Phillips

Family foundation donors and first generation boards should begin the continuity and succession discussion early in the foundation’s lifetime if perpetuity is the objective. In a succession plan, one trustee usually succeeds another. However, before succession can take place there should be continuity of governance where members of more than one generation are working together as peers. This Passages profiles… Read More

Family Foundations as Agents of Change

Posted on September 4, 2009 by Jeffrey M. Glebocki, Joann Ricci

We often hear media reports on the contributions and impact of super-sized grants and mega-foundations. But data and experience tells us it’s the presence and consistency of small- and medium-sized family foundations that provide much of the fuel for nonprofit organizations in our communities. Family foundations are uniquely positioned to serve as leaders in community problem-solving. Because their board members… Read More

Passing the Baton: Generations Sharing Leadership

Posted on June 4, 2008 by Alice Buhl

Today’s family foundation field has many well-prepared next generation members and a whole generation of longer living, active senior members. And while the field has been resourceful in promoting next gen involvement, it has done little to address succession issues for the senior generation or to consider options for shared, multi-generational leadership. Alice Buhl discusses lessons learned from family business,… Read More

Principled Planning: A Guide for Family Foundation Retreats

Posted on November 5, 2006 by Elaine Gast Fawcett

In 2005, the Council on Foundations developed a set of Stewardship Principles  to help family foundation board members govern, manage and lead their family foundations. These principles were based on more than a year’s worth of work, with input from hundreds of family foundation executives and trustees as well as other experts including academics, attorneys, and even an ethicist. This… Read More

Generations of Giving: Introduction

Posted on September 27, 2006 by Deanne Stone, Howard Muson, Katherine Grady, Kelin E. Gersick, Ph.D., Michele Desjardins

This is the introduction for Generations of Giving: Leadership and Continuity in Family Foundations, the landmark 2006 study by a team of researchers led by Kelin Gersick and co-published by the National Center for Family Philanthropy. This introduction features the lead author’s proposition that the concept of “success” in family foundations has been severely under-explored in the field of philanthropy,… Read More