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Results for:   Topic: “Boards and Governance”  

Considering Trustee Compensation

All foundations rely on trustees for leadership, oversight, and planning. Many small foundations also rely on trustees for a considerable amount of the labor needed to run a foundation. To acknowledge the crucial role that trustees play in governance and operations, some foundations compensate for routine board service, such as attending meetings, reviewing proposals, and... Read More

Disaster and Emergency Response Policy

When disasters strike and emergencies occur, board members may want to respond when they learn about suffering or environmental damage. A policy will help your foundation act effectively during an emergency or as you work to minimize the impact of future disasters. Because many aspects of disasters are unpredictable, some of the best disaster policies... Read More

Fiduciary Duties and Suggested Code of Conduct for Foundation Managers

With all the attention given to the excise tax rules (e.g., sections 4940–4946 of the Internal Revenue Code [IRC]), the directors or trustees of private foundations (i.e., “managers”) may be inclined to overlook their fiduciary duties under state or common law. This complacency can be compounded by the fact that many private foundations are governed... Read More

Five Ways to Keep Your Trustees on Track

Trustees have many responsibilities, and it’s important to be vigilant in the areas in which trustees trip up most. Here are five ways to keep your trustees on the right track. Develop a cohesive and compelling purpose Foundations with a clear mission statement can minimize the conflicts that arise when trustees’ personal agendas dominate. Work... Read More

Governing Documents and Mission Statement

Whether a foundation is formed as a corporation or a trust, it must comply with its governing documents, which are legally binding. If your foundation is a corporation, its governing documents are its articles of incorporation—referred to by some states as articles of organization or certificate of incorporation—filed with the state’s secretary of state (or... Read More

10 Lessons Learned From the King Foundation Case

In 2002, the Texas attorney general sued the board of directors and officers of the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation—a foundation with assets of $30–$50 million—for breaches of fiduciary duty. After the court appointed a new board, the King Foundation joined in the suit. In June 2004, a Texas jury awarded more than... Read More