“It’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life.” – Oprah Winfrey
While much attention is paid to grantmaking, the work of any foundation extends beyond writing checks for worthy causes. To fully meet its charitable goals, a foundation must maintain the vitality of all three key functions: governance, management and grantmaking.
Sound governance strengthens the effectiveness and accountability of the foundation. Board members play a critical role in setting strategic direction.
- Board development and continuity
- Operating within state and federal laws and according to the corporation’s articles and bylaws
- Stewardship of assets
- Direction setting for charitable activities
Day-to-day foundation operations – whether managed by family members, employees or professional advisers – require a broad skill set, from risk management to regulations and human resources.
- Regulatory compliance
- Monitoring for self-dealing
- Proper due diligence for grantmaking
- Records maintenance
- Proper financial protocols and bookkeeping practices
- Hiring and supervising advisors and staff
3. grantmaking (charitable activities)
The heart and soul of any foundation, charitable activities encompass:
- Grantmaking to qualified non-profit organizations
- Education related to charitable activities
- Networking/collaborating with stakeholders