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What value can diversity bring to the work of family foundations? First of all, diversity is now more interwoven into the fabric of our society, including our neighborhoods, education, business and media. Integrating diversity into many aspects of a family foundation’s work can result in more compelling grantmaking, particularly in responding effectively to demographic changes that nonprofit organizations face every day.
Diversity also holds the promise of helping family foundations highlight fresh voices in leadership positions, inspire new thinking, and gain insightful observations that strengthen a board’s vision.
However, I recognize that most family foundations are created by families—bound by their founders’ vision, mission, and charters, as well as linked by DNA. Most often, family foundations are small with boards typically composed of only family members and perhaps a close family friend.
If, for varied reasons, expansion of a board is not possible, there are other ways in which to invite diverse voices and ideas that can help family foundations pursue their mission with an eye toward becoming more responsive to diversity in their communities and the issues they fund.
Read the full article about diversity in family foundations by Cole Wilbur at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.