Publications

Balancing Purpose, Payout, and Permanence Thumbnail

This Strategy Guide invites you to reflect more deeply on how your foundation chooses to balance the four factors of Purpose, Conditions and Trends, Time Horizon, and Assets for Mission, especially in times of greater crisis or opportunity. It leaves the final decision to you, without judgment for your payout amount, lifespan, or mission.

Built On Principle Cover

Built on Principle will help family foundations achieve excellence using the Stewardship Principles for Family Foundations as a blueprint for excellence.

Closing a Foundation

Closing a nonprofit charitable institution presents a range of unknowns to the grantmaking community. In this analysis, authors John Dickason and Duncan Neuhauser provide guidance to foundations considering whether to create a time-limited foundation or bring a foundation to an end. Topics include managing finances, grants, human and physical resources, archives, history and records.

Report Cover

This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law reviews how U.S. public charities, private foundations, and corporations can provide hardship relief funding to communities and individuals, including to employees of a particular company, in the wake of natural and man-made disasters.

Disaster Grantmaking: A Practical Guide for Foundations and Corporations

A joint product of the Council on Foundations and the European Foundation Centre, this publication suggests eight principles plus practical tips for grantmakers to consider when responding to emergency situations.

Economic Development as a Charitable Activity

This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law examines Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) and other laws that govern the management and investment of endowments and other foundation financial assets. It also includes a discussion of the board’s role and the use of outside advisors.

Effective Collaborations Cover

The report explores the ways in which infrastructure organizations think about the value and the mechanics of collaboration—the drivers and barriers to collaborative work—and to determine ways to encourage more effective partnerships. The publication features a framework for understanding different types of collaboration, a set of recommendations for better collaboration, and a series of case studies that show a range of partnerships that tease out the potential benefits and challenges of various kinds of collaboration.

Expenditure Responsibility: Step by Step

Expenditure responsibility is the federally mandated procedure that a private foundation—and some public charities—must follow for any grant made to an organization that is not a public charity. This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law: The Council on Foundations Compendium of Legal Resources focuses on the steps of expenditure responsibility when granting to non 501(c)(3) organizations.

Facing Forever: Planning for Change in Family Foundations

Family foundations can find opportunities even in times of great change and crisis. Facing Forever will arm you with the tools, stories, and resources to help you prepare for current and future transitions. At the very least, the difficult issues it raises will help get your board talking about and planning for highly personal and highly probable possibilities.

Fiscal Sponsorship

Fiscal sponsorship provides a valuable tool for charitable entrepreneurs to realize their vision by working with an established charity that takes in tax-deductible donations and private-foundation grants to fund their charitable activities. This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law: The Council on Foundations Compendium of Legal Resources focuses on the basic elements of fiscal sponsorship, the predominant models and their relative advantages and disadvantages, and the mechanical aspects involved.

Foundation Finance and Investment Management

This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law examines Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) and other laws that govern the management and investment of endowments and other foundation financial assets. It also includes a discussion of the board’s role and the use of outside advisors.

Global Family Philanthropy: Exploring Key Considerations for Giving Across Borders

This paper by the Council on Foundations, BNY Mellon, and Give2Asia explores the opportunities and challenges that face global families as they seek to conduct cross-border philanthropy. From coordinating family strategy to navigating complex tax regimes, global family philanthropy is not a simple feat. However, due to generational change and technological advancements, it’s becoming far more common. This paper equips global families with key considerations and offers recommendations on how to proceed with global family philanthropy in an effective manner.

International Grantmaking: A Guide for Funders Making Grants Outside the United States

Making grants to institutions outside the United States is challenging and rewarding.This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law: The Council on Foundations Compendium of Legal Resources focuses on the various legal and technical requirements necessary to comply with the U.S. law and regulations concerning grants to non-U.S. organizations.

Philanthropy and Rural America

Learn what philanthropy is doing—or should be doing—in rural communities to growing assets and improve education, health, and the environment.

Shifting Practices, Sharing Power?

We surveyed 250 foundation leaders and conducted more than a dozen in-depth interviews to assess how the sector is changing in three ways: resourcing, priorities, and internal operations. Across all three, we found shifts in practices yet few examples of increases in power sharing.