- Why do we exist as an institution? What is the purpose that we seek to fulfill? What values do we hold most dear as we do our work?
- If our purpose and values were the sole guides for our decision making, what would we do or not do in response to this crisis?
- If preserving our endowment or asset size were the primary guide for our decision making, what would we do or not do in response to the crisis?
- If there are differences between these two realities, how do we reconcile them? How comfortable would we be articulating our rationale to external stakeholders? If not, why not?
- What is the likely impact of this crisis on our current nonprofit partners? What will the impact on our philanthropic goals be if we allow those nonprofits to falter or lose ground or momentum in their work? How concerned are we about our ability to find strong nonprofit partners through which we can advance our goals once the COVID-19 crisis passes?
- What do we want our legacy to be when we look back on COVID-19? What will make us feel like we did enough or did right by our institutional legacy, our philanthropic priorities, and our nonprofit partners?
Read the full article about essential questions for boards by Anne Wallestad at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.