The long-term success of a family’s giving is often determined by the actions it takes — or doesn’t take — early in the process. Just as a house must be built on a strong foundation, successful philanthropy must be built with a set of principles and goals that can help it achieve excellence. From clarifying the family’s goals to determining the appropriate charitable vehicles, Launch Right helps our clients be successful with their charitable giving, including launching or repositioning a family foundation if appropriate.
Without a sense of purpose, a foundation or other charitable enterprise can go adrift. However, with a clear and effective mission in place a foundation can enact its vision while preserving the intent of its founders. In short, a clearly defined mission serves as a beacon for those leading a foundation — now and for generations to come. Mission Builder helps foundations and their leaders explore, discover, and define values and objectives, resulting in a clear sense of purpose. This unique process avoids time-consuming retreats and focuses on consensus-building among all stakeholders.
Families often have a clear idea of what they want to do, but at times they face obstacles in implementing their charitable vision. Effective strategy is the link between mission and impact. Strategy Builder is a systematic approach to developing a philanthropic strategy. Working with a family or a foundation’s leadership, we focus on their desired outcomes or impact. As a next step, we identify the appropriate charitable activities that are likely to achieve the outcomes, while identifying the appropriate metrics to track progress and success.
In addition to financial support, families and family foundations can provide other types of support to achieve long-term philanthropic goals. These include engaging in educational, advocacy, convening and values-based investing activities. NPA staff has worked with families and foundations of all types and sizes to design, implement and manage dozens of grantmaking programs. Program Builder is our process to develop successful philanthropic programs and has been used by our clients to award more than $150 million in grants.
Paperwork, recordkeeping and other administrative duties are an important and necessary part of running a foundation, yet few families relish the prospect of performing these tasks. There is a better way — one that allows a foundation and its leaders to focus on making a positive impact, while having the peace of mind that the back office is being well-managed. Through the Back-Office Advantage, we offer a full array of administrative services, from due diligence research and recordkeeping to grant processing and compliance-monitoring. This can take the headaches and hassles out of running a foundation, and can help ensure that everything is in its proper place for audits and tax returns.
Rules and regulations change, laws are updated and operational best practices evolve. Because of the changing landscape, it’s important for foundations to review their operations, systems and processes on a regular basis. Philanthropy Fitness involves a comprehensive, systematic review and analysis of a foundation’s operations. We work with our clients to establish the best practices of modern foundation management in order to ensure effectiveness, promote efficiency and mitigate risk. We also help put in place systems that provide the appropriate accountability for reporting to the Board of Directors, an audit firm or the IRS.