Administration and Operations

One of the keys to a well-run foundation is a strong set of management and administration policies that guide the daily operations. This section will provide information on the following key areas:

  • Personnel policies
  • Operations policies
  • Compensation
  • Records retention
  • Insurance coverage
  • Emergency preparedness plans
  • Internal controls
  • Strategic planning


Webinar: Strategic Planning - Passing Gear Philanthropy Webinar
SECF brought together three veteran philanthropic leaders whose foundations have recently been through the process of rethinking how they give, of developing a strategic plan, and of adopting the passing gear philanthropy framework to share their experiences with members of the SECF community. This hour-long webinar allowed members of the SECF community to learn from their colleagues about the benefits, the process, and the purpose of becoming the passing gear. 

Practices That Matter – Project Streamline Takes Stock
Do you know which application and reporting practices are most burdensome for your grantseekers?  Project Streamline’s report, Practices That Matter, reveals the streamlining changes that make the biggest difference and sets the agenda for more efficient and sensible grantmaking requirements.  

Managing a Family Foundation When Trustees are Geographically Dispersed
Family Philanthropy Beyond Borders, a new report from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, explores the challenges family foundations face when its family trustees are geographically dispersed and no longer live in the area where the foundation's management and grantmaking is centered. The report outlines best practices for "governance, decision making, and, especially, daily work activities when the number of local board members diminishes."

Document Retention Policy
Provides general minimum requirements for how long nonprofits should retain business records and documents.

Developing a Grantmaker Travel Policy
Issues and key questions to consider when developing a travel policy to pay or reimburse expenses incurred by anyone traveling for your organization.

Green Beyond Grants: Sustainable Practices for Foundations
This guide offers specific steps to start your foundation on the road to environmental sustainability at the office and at sponsored events.

Whistleblower Policy - Duke Endowment
This sample includes more detailed procedures and defines the role of compliance officer.

Sample Confidentiality Agreement for Staff
Sample confidentiality agreement for foundation employees, from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

Nonprofit Mergers and Acquisitions: More Than a Tool for Tough Times
A report from Bridgespan that includes a call to action to philanthropists to further strategic M & A's.

Aligning the Pieces: National Cost Benchmarks for Nonprofit Strategic Plans and Business Plans
Published by the Forbes Fund, this report compares the cost of strategic planning and business planning for non-profits, funders, and consultants throughout the country.

Web 2.0 for Grantmakers
Created by Blueprint Research and Design for Northern California Grantmakers, this site is designed as a simple and quick introduction for grantmakers interested in using new technologies (and some older ones, too) in creative ways.

Foundation Desk Reference
Our bestselling compendium of private foundation rules has everything you need to know, including important provisions from the Pension Protection Act of 2006. By Benjamin T. White, Esq. Updated and reprinted in 2008.

Grants Managers Network
The Grants Managers Network (GMN) provides a forum to exchange information about grants management and its relevance to efficient and effective grant making.

Center for Effective Philanthropy
CEP’s mission is to provide management and governance tools to define, assess, and improve overall foundation performance.