Boards & Governance

Board members play a critical role in directing the strategic direction of foundations. The Council's board and governance resources will help board members become more effective by providing key tools and guidance essential to understanding the governance of foundations.

In-Depth knowledge on Boards & Governance

With so many variables at work, is there an ideal size for foundation boards? Although board size varies significantly among different foundation types, this article speaks generally to all foundation boards—community, family, independent, public and corporate.

The basic legalities of board compensation, a sampling of the most common practices and a breakdown of the pros of both compensated and voluntary board service

Family foundations grapple with many questions when determining who will serve on the board. For example, who is eligible for board service? The easy answer for many foundations is family members, but how do you define family member? This document highlights some factors that families might consider when determining who serves on the board.

Sabbaticals are not too uncommon in the nonprofit world for foundation executives or senior management. It can be a useful time to reflect on past accomplishments, revitalize, and gain renewed inspiration for future work. Sabbaticals for board members likewise can have similar positive effects but should be approached with care.

It is important to develop-and stick to-clear foundation policies on expenses. State regulators tell us that when they examine a foundation's expenditures, they look for evidence that foundation managers have thought about the various areas in which expenses arise and have developed a reasonable policy to guide spending. Following are some of the questions that may be raised when considering what administrative expenses the foundation will cover for employees and directors who travel on behalf of the foundation.

What do you do when a grantee—or potential grantee—asks someone on your board or staff to sit on their board? Does such a request constitute a conflict of interest? Are there times when such a situation can actually benefit one or both of the organizations involved?