How many of you find that the better you do something the more enjoyable it is? It certainly is true in philanthropy. Because foundations, by nature, do not need to compete or be as efficient as businesses, many are not nearly as effective as they might be. If you are looking for ideas on how to use your money to really make a difference, take advantage of what the Council on Foundations has to offer new foundations.
I recently participated in a five-hour session, “Best Practices for New Foundations,” at the 2011 Family Philanthropy Conference. This session offered an excellent background on all of the legal basics, as well as board governance, and setting the foundation’s mission, goals, and strategy. It covered ideas for handling grants and communications, as well as ethics, values, and evaluation. The handouts can help a foundation get started and change for the better.
If you missed this opportunity in New York and need ideas on how to start effectively, you might consider attending the Council’s “Essential Skills and Strategies for New Foundations” class later this year or attend the Council’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia in April. By starting off the right way, leaders of new foundations can achieve the results that inspired them to create the foundation in the first place.
Cole Wilbur is a Trustee and Past President for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation