For this report on foundation board governance, The Center for Effective Philanthropy surveyed the CEOs of 64 independent foundations in the United States making $10 million or more in grants annually.
The median asset size for foundations in the sample was about $462 million and the median annual giving level was about $22 million. The median number of full-time equivalent staff working at foundations in this study was 24. Thirty-nine percent of respondents had been the CEO of their foundation for 10 years or longer.
The 17-page report contains infographics related to board composition, expertise, stucture, practices, meetings and involvement. The results prompted Phil Buchanan, CEP president, to ask four questions:
- Is this practice of providing board members discretionary funds really necessary to attract strong board members?
- What’s stopping foundation boards from delegating more grantmaking authority to staff?
- Why aren’t more foundations taking stock of their own effectiveness through a self-assessment process?
- Is 16 hours a year in full board meetings enough?
The report is available for free download from The Center of Effective Philanthropy.