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Guide for Foundation Board Members

Guide for Foundation Board Members

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Published by Mike DeWine

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Published by: Mike DeWine on Jun 29, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/02/2011

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C
HARITABLE
L
A
S
ECTION
GUIDE FORFOUNDATIONBOARD MEMBERSGUIDE FORFOUNDATIONBOARD MEMBERS
 
T
YPES
 
OF
F
OUNDATIONS
Foundations may exist in various forms, butmost commonly they are organized either as
a nonprot corporation or as a testamentary
or
inter vivos
trust. A nonprot corporation iscreated by ling articles of incorporation with the
Ohio Secretary of State. A trust is formally createdwhen a donor, through a trust agreement or viathe donor’s will, gives legal title to property toone or more trustees to hold and manage for the
benet of another — in the case of a charitabletrust, for the charitable beneciaries.
Whether a foundation is organized in corporateor trust form, and whether its managersare referred to as directors or trustees, Ohio
foundation board members are required to fulllspecic duties. Although you may consider the
foundation with which you are associated aprivate entity, it is important to remember you
are administering charitable assets for the benetof the public. Further, public benets have been
bestowed on the foundation and its donors, in theform of tax exempt status for the foundation andcharitable tax deductions for its donors.Foundations rely heavily on volunteers to govern
them and enable them to fulll their charitable
mission. The foundation has every right to expectits volunteers to serve in a serious and
 
thoughtful fashion. Foundation board membershave a concomitant right to expect ready access toinformation and resources to ensure that they can
fulll their legal and ethical duties.
Whether you are considering joining afoundation’s board or are already serving onone, you have probably not received any formaltraining for the job. Unlike most other jobs, it isoften assumed that either no training is requiredor that everyone knows what is expected of them.To the contrary, there is a shared responsibilityof the volunteer, the volunteer’s peers on theboard and any foundation staff to request andprovide the training necessary for board membersto more fully understand and carry out theirresponsibilities. This booklet provides foundationboard members with a basic understanding oftheir responsibilities. In addition to this booklet,Ohio Grantmakers Forum (OGF) offers trainingand resources for foundation boards. Please check
the OGF Web site —
www.ohiograntmakers.org 
 
— frequently for upcoming programs.

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