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Funders Reflect on the Craft of Catalyzing Change in Exponent’s New Podcast Series

How would philanthropy be different if foundation leaders spent most of their time out in the community listening, learning and engaging with people? In my work at Exponent Philanthropy, I interview hundreds of staff, trustees and donors of small, place-based foundations. I’ve learned that many organize their work in this way—seeing themselves not as grantmakers,... Read More

Governance Basics: Board Meeting Requirements and Strategies

Great board meetings are achievable. Following a few legal requirements plus tried-and-true strategies can create an environment and a process for efficient, enjoyable foundation board meetings. Legal requirements For incorporated foundations, different states have different legal requirements for notice, quorum, voting and frequency of meetings. Requirements for meeting minutes are more standard across the nation.... Read More

Getting Started: Nonprofit Sector 101

Understanding the world of nonprofits, and where foundations and other forms of giving fit in. Nonprofit sector collectively describes the institutions and organizations in American society that are neither government nor business. A nonprofit is an organization that exists to benefit the public and isn’t in the business of making money. Any profits it earns aren’t... Read More

Time-Limited Philanthropy: Embracing Mortality Can Drive Urgency and Excellence

In Give Smart, Thomas J. Tierney and Joel L. Fleishman wrote that private foundation excellence is self-imposed. “Of all the characteristics that distinguish philanthropists, the single most consequential may be the fact that they are essentially accountable to no one but themselves,” they said. Governments must win the favor of voters. Companies must earn customer... Read More