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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

Advocating For State-Level Systems Changes: Policy Work By a Small Foundation

Leanly staffed family foundations can punch well above their weight, working with other funders and grantees to change systems. Over the past seven years, the Thornburg Foundation has experienced this firsthand. Given the depth of the challenges facing the state of New Mexico, systemic change is particularly important to our board chair and founder, Garrett... Read More

Pivoting Through COVID-19: Portfolio Alignment for Foundations

In 2020, the pandemic upended our daily lives and the philanthropic landscape. But the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation‘s board saw this crisis as an opportunity to transform their giving, investment focus and protocol — proactively aligning the assets of the foundation with its mission. The pandemic and ensuing hardships gave the board the impetus to... Read More