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My “Mission Sabbatical” and Why Your Foundation CEO Needs One Too

I went on “sabbatical”! I was still working every day, but my wonderful board gave me “mission time.” Yes, you heard correctly. I was given 3 months to think about our foundation’s mission, its work, and our processes. What exactly does this mean? Well, to start, we temporarily closed our online portal and skipped a... Read More

Transform Your Bookkeeping With These Simple T’s

Producing audit ready financial records for a private foundation can be an intimidating task—even for financial professionals. With fiscal year-ends that may differ from a calendar year (they do at roughly 50% of private foundations according to Thomas F. Blaney, CPA, CFE and partner, director of foundation services at PKF O’Connor Davies)—there often is no simple... Read More

Refining Our Foundation’s Capacity Building Framework

For more than two decades, Foellinger Foundation has provided capacity building grants to nonprofits in Allen County, Indiana. We are proud to support the external work those organizations do in our community, and we are equally proud to support the important work they do internally to improve their effectiveness. In 2018, we reflected on the... Read More

Ask Your Way to Impact: Nonprofit Dialogue

How can a small foundation with a limited grantmaking budget leverage its resources to make an even greater impact? This post offers questions to ask nonprofit organizations as your foundation pursues impact. When small foundation leaders meet with nonprofit organizations, it is important to ask great questions that get beyond the answers we can find... Read More

Are Your Trustees Involved Too Much—or Too Little—in Grantmaking?

In the 10-plus years I’ve been a consultant to foundations—and the 20-plus years I’ve been a family foundation trustee—I’ve noticed a phenomenon I’ve come to call the “trustee pendulum.” Trustees often start out very engaged in grantmaking, reviewing all grants (often to organizations they know well) and managing the grantmaking process, which is typically quite... Read More

Sabbaticals for Nonprofit Leaders and Their Funders

Funders are supporting sabbaticals for nonprofit leaders—and taking sabbaticals themselves—as a way to step back from professional identity, let go of routine, and restore their energy for the long haul. The Durfee Foundation has been a leader in funding nonprofit executive sabbaticals for 20 years. “Since the beginning, our board has focused on leadership and... Read More