We do! Private foundations are permitted to pay for or reimburse ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in carrying out their activities, including the costs of travel by trustees. Your board can state its reimbursement policy clearly and in writing, and include the following:
- Require that travel on behalf of the foundation be undertaken in a cost-effective manner. The law requires that these expenses not be “lavish or extravagant.”
- State that the policy should be adhered to by anyone traveling or incurring expenses on behalf of the organization (e.g., trustees, officers, employees, consultants, volunteers).
- State that expenses are reimbursable only if they are directly related to the foundation’s work—and not personal activities.
- List what is—and what is not—reimbursable. For example, a foundation might pay for transportation, lodging and meals but not first-class travel.
- Describe the documentation required to receive reimbursement and who will approve requests for reimbursement.
- State that the foundation will not pay for nor reimburse travel or out-of-pocket expenses for spouses, dependents, or others unless they too are conducting business for the foundation or preparing for future foundation service.