The National Center for Family Philanthropy's Passages series are composed of high-level analytical reports – usually of 10 to 12 pages in length – authored by noted experts in the field and providing step-by-step solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing family giving programs trying to optimize operating efficiencies. Affiliating your organization with the topics covered in these reports is a great way to align yourself with your areas of expertise. Past reports have focused on issues such as “Strategic Philanthropy: Maximizing Family Engagement and Social Impact”, “Family Governance Meets Family Dynamics”, “Families in Flux: Guidelines for Participation in Your Family’s Philanthropy” and “Passing the Baton? Generations Sharing Leadership”.
Examples of recent titles in the Passages series include:
“Avoid Risk: Board Responsibilities for Prudent Investment and Governance” - The economic climate has made it more critical than ever for family foundation boards to wisely and carefully manage assets. In the wake of the Madoff scandal, more trustees are seeking help in understanding their responsibilities in governance and investment management. A nonprofit lawyer and a governance expert provide a road map. [by Karen Green, Director, Health Care Initiative Foundation and Andras Kosaras, Associate, the law firm of Arnold and Porter]
“Choosing and Preparing Your Grantmaking Successors” - Whether they are adding the second generation or considering how to involve multiple generations and branches, there are a number of approaches to help family foundations get there. This paper includes practical advice for involving teens and young adults, writing a donor legacy statement, developing a succession plan and policies, and engaging the whole family, not just the board. This includes stories from several foundations on how they planned for succession. (by Mary Phillips - GMA )
“Logic Models: How Small Foundations Can Use This Tool to Increase Impact” - This tool is all the rage with large foundations… but can small, even unstaffed foundations use it effectively, too? The $20-million KDK-Harman Foundation says a resounding “yes”. It has a logic model to guide its own grant decisions and requires grantees to produce one as well—and helps them do it. (by Erica V. Ekwurzel - KDK-Harman Family Foundation)
“Measuring What Counts: Meaningful Evaluation for Family Foundations” - To know if they are having an impact, foundations often use formal evaluation processes. But evaluations can be expensive, especially for small foundations, and figuring out what to measure is difficult. This paper, based on interviews with several foundations, describes a variety of evaluation approaches smaller funders have used successfully. [by Janice Molnar, consultant].
“Non-Family Members on Family Foundation Boards” - Although family foundations boards are often restricted to family members, many include trusted family advisors and some recruit community members or focus area experts to bring diverse perspectives to the work. This paper explores the pros and cons of using this approach, how the dynamic is changed by adding nonfamily members, and how to go about recruiting and integrating non-family members onto a board. [by Joe Foote, philanthropy writer]
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