Record Keeping & Retention

In-Depth knowledge on Record Keeping & Retention

The 2016 Administrative and Program Expense Tables provide foundations with tools to benchmark their expenses – charitable administrative, program service, and qualifying distributions – against peers in the field. Containing data collected through the Council’s 2016 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey, this report offers detailed breakdowns of the data by grantmaker type, staff size, geographic location, and asset group (note – this report does not examine fees associated with fund administration at community foundations).

There are documents that should be kept on hand forever; some that may be discarded after a given time period; and some that may be retained or discarded at a foundation's discretion. This article provides some guidelines for private foundations (including corporate foundations), corporate foundations/giving programs that do not include a corporate foundation, and community foundations, their counsel, or their accountants.

This Document Retention and Destruction Policy of the Council on Foundations (the "Council") identifies the record retention responsibilities of staff, volunteers, members of the Board of Directors, and outsiders for maintaining and documenting the storage and destruction of the Council’s documents and records. You can use this as guide for your own policy.