Committee Orientation


Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Mark E. Neithercut, founder and principal at Neithercut Philanthropy Advisors.

by Mark E. Neithercut

In our various philanthropic and nonprofit roles, we often hear of board members who receive little training or orientation as they assume their board positions. So, kudos to the Council for its third annual Committee Member Orientation.

Late Monday afternoon, fifteen or so new committee members received a wide-ranging overview of the Council’s Strategic Plan, the 2009-2011 Business Plan, the 2011 Operating Plan, and the Council’s Governance and Committee structure. I am a new member of the Council’s Professional Development Committee, and others were joining the Membership, Global Philanthropy, and Community Foundation Leadership Team Committees. In addition to the overview of the Council’s plans, we received clear instructions about our responsibilities as Committee members, including the Council’s conflict of interest and confidentiality policies.

I was impressed at the seriousness with which the Council treated the orientation process and the thoroughness of the session. We learned about the strategic direction, the operational plan, and the organizational structure of the council, in addition to our own duties and responsibilities. And we left with a 45 page booklet with all the orientation documents.

We have heard many thrilling stories and inspiring calls to action at this conference. But behind all of this, we need good governance in our foundations, our nonprofits and our leadership organizations. I am delighted to find such good practice behind the scenes at the Council.

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Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

Kris is a sought after philanthropy advisor, expert and award-winning author. She has helped over 90 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over half a billion dollars in grants and gifts.

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