Creating an effective non-profit or foundation board doesn’t just happen. It has to be carefully planned and managed.
While there isn’t a magic formula for the creation of a successful non-profit or foundation board, the caliber of an organization’s board members can directly relate to its effectiveness and efficiency.
“When you make good choices of board members and they join for the right reasons, everything else may take care of itself,” says Michael Penfield, Managing Director of U.S. Bank’s Charitable Service Group.
How you structure your board may depend on the type of organization. A foundation is typically a private non-profit organization funded by a small group of people, such as a family; public charities receive funding from a wide range of sources, including the public at large.
When two of Penfield’s clients decided to create a private foundation more than a decade ago, they recruited their spouses and adult children for the board. The board often clashed as a result of each family member having a passionate opinion on which causes to support, but they made sure every voice was heard and respected.
The children eventually took over governance roles after their parents’ deaths. Today, the legacy of these two clients lives on in their teenage grandchildren who dutifully serve the foundation like their parents did.