Effective Foundation Boards: The Importance of Roles

Sign up for a free account to save resources for later or login.

Foundations are unique among organizations in the enormous latitude they have in determining their work and the manner in which it is done. This flexibility manifests itself particularly in the variety of roles that foundation board members can take. Most of the literature in the field focuses on best practices in board structure and processes. These are necessary in the spirit of responsiveness and legal accountability, but are not sufficient for effectiveness. Achieving role clarity, influence in decision-making and responsibility for impact are three keys to more effective foundation governance. These three attributes can be better understood and achieved by examining the roles of foundation board members as individuals and as a collective. Recognizing these important, often overlooked, phenomena will help boards not only have good work that will keep them enthused and committed, but also to produce the good work that the public expects.

Go to Resource

Content Partner: Foundation Center/GrantCraft

Content Partner Website


What are the main takeaways or key points from this resource?:

Examine the roles of foundation board members as individuals and as a collective.

Publication/Event Date:

November 2005

Is your resource available to the public or only your members?:



Christine W. Letts



Foundation Management

Leave a Reply