Tag Archives: foundations
June 20, 2011, 10:09 pm
When I started this blog last fall, an old friend who had been out of touch for a few years e-mailed me to share his thoughts about what needs to change before we will see widespread improvement in the effectiveness of nonprofit boards.
My friend is a very savvy retired chief executive with decades of experience working with boards, so I respect his opinion, which is that boards are never going to improve significantly unless, in his words, “foundations demand it.”
Foundations are a smaller player in the nonprofit world than most people realize (and than those of us who work at foundations are sometimes willing to admit). Grants from foundations represent only a small fraction—just 13 percent in 2009—of total charitable giving to nonprofits. That may sound substantial, but private contributions are also only a fraction of all nonprofit income.