By Hanh Le, Exponent Philanthropy
Whether resulting from the receipt of an estate, sale of a company, or simply a decision to contribute more resources and/or spend assets more aggressively, foundations that ramp up are undergoing a shift in scale that often requires major changes in infrastructure, staffing, governance, grantmaking, and use of expert resources.
The groundwork for an effective plan
Even if the timing is uncertain, many foundation boards know whether there is likely to be a growth in corpus at some point, and generally how big that growth will be. Foundations that take the time to plan ahead of a ramp up can clarify vision, explore donor intent, develop a team of advisors and board members, experiment with new approaches, and more.
Start with strategy. It is important to begin at the strategic level with a thoughtful look at the foundation’s vision for change—its mission, goals, donor legacy, and broad strategies. Experienced foundation professionals advise foundations to focus first on the more important strategic issues. Once those are clarified, tactical decisions like staffing, grant cycles, and office space can flow from them.