Resources

Topic: “Boards and Governance”

Facilitation: Tools of the Trade for Grantmakers

Facilitation can and should be a key component of any grantmaker’s toolbox. According to Exponent Philanthropy members, a well-facilitated meeting: Sticks to an agenda Progresses smoothly Gets results Draws folks out Engages participants well Dissipates tense situations Increases participants’ buy-in Creates a space in which participants feel valued and important The ability to confidently and... Read More

Expectations of Board Members

Foundation board members are expected to: Set and adjust the direction for the foundation: its mission and goals. Establish principles, policies, and procedures that govern the foundation’s operation and advance its mission. Oversee the foundation to ensure that it operates effectively and efficiently in support of the mission, and that it complies with legal rules.... Read More

Discretionary Grants Policy

Discretionary grantmaking is the practice of allowing board members and, in some cases, committee members, family members, or staff to direct a portion of grantmaking dollars to organizations of their choice. Although the board is legally responsible for all discretionary grants, the grants generally are approved without extensive review or discussion. They truly are made... Read More

Conflict of Interest Policy

A conflict of interest can occur any time a board member or staff’s outside involvements (e.g., business interests, family relationships, political affiliations, other charitable activities) intersect with those of the foundation. The benefit, or potential benefit by board or staff, can lead to biased decisions and unethical behavior, or the appearance of such. In instances... Read More

Board Policies

Board policies work in tandem with the foundation’s bylaws or trust document to create the foundation’s structure. Bylaws or the trust document are legally binding and based in state law; policies also are considered binding, but they are less likely to be backed by force of law and are easier to amend (e.g., usually by... Read More

Board Composition

Basic requirements for board composition generally are reflected in a foundation’s bylaws or trust document. You’ll also want to consider the qualities you want in individuals who serve on your board. It is helpful to describe the expectations of board members in a position description. Bylaws or trust document requirements Every state has basic requirements... Read More