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Let’s Be Candid About Board Succession Planning

Joe Wilson, founder of the Xerox Corporation, and his wife, Peggy, formed the Wilson Foundation in 1963. A few years ago, we engaged in strategic planning to revisit our giving priorities. At the time, our board had 24 members that spanned three generations, and were spread across the country. In order to achieve our impact... Read More

Advocacy With a Small “a”—Big Ideas for Small Foundations

While attending Exponent Philanthropy’s 2018 National Conference last month, I had a surprise: I saw a significant number of grantmakers genuinely excited about getting involved in advocacy! At the closing luncheon, I was seated with Melinda McAliney, Director of the Brown Sisters Foundation and Vario Philanthropy, in St Louis, Missouri. She noticed it too and... Read More

Next Gen Fellows Program

The deadline to apply for the 2024 cohort is December 7, 2023. The program meets virtually with an optional add-on to attend the 2024 Annual Conference.   The Next Gen Fellows Program is a 7-month, virtual leadership development program for dynamic leaders roughly 18–35 years old who are involved in all types of foundations as current or... Read More

The Funder’s Role in Data Collection: Insights From Peer Funders

Data can be a scary word, but it also can be a thing of beauty when you’re looking to develop more efficient processes, make better decisions, or help your grantees find new ways of doing things. As a funder, you can have a role in supporting the data collection efforts of your grantees. This doesn’t... Read More

Creating and Running a Giving Circle

The following guidelines, adapted from the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers’ Giving Circles Knowledge Center, can be a useful checklist for decision making when creating and running a giving circle. It is unnecessary to follow these guidelines in order; for example, some newly launched giving circles already may have a focus or a host... Read More

Supporting Nonprofit Collaboration: Respectful Ways to Help Your Grantees Accomplish More Together

When initiated from the ground up—from the nonprofits themselves—collaborations can serve communities effectively and efficiently. Strong collaborations maximize nonprofits’ impact by providing administrative stability; decreasing duplication, competition, and overlap of services; and bringing more diverse approaches to complex social and environmental problems. Funders are uniquely positioned to cultivate and support nonprofit collaborations, and to do... Read More