When a family foundation board works as a team, with harmony in vision and purpose, it may see no immediate need to bring in individuals who are not related to the donor family. The family itself is the board’s first and greatest resource. Over time however, circumstances may arise where family members are not sufficient to meet the board’s expectations or goals for governance.

What are the signs that your board might benefit from adding a community leader to bring new energy and a fresh voice to board deliberations and decisions? And if your board decides to look outside the family, what are the questions and factors you should consider in making your choice?

Some family foundations have never had an outside trustee on the board and don’t want one. Others have had nonfamily trustees since their establishment — either a friend or business associate of the founder, a trusted lawyer or accountant, or a program expert or local community leader respected by the family.

Read the full article on non-family trustees by Joseph Foote at the National Center For Family Philanthropy.