What is the best way to formalize the process of hiring and setting salary for a family member?

LIZ WALTERS: Off the top of my head, I can think of four things that we did. The first thing was to create job descriptions. I was the only staff member to begin with, but we also created a job description for board members. Many foundations also have a separate job description for the chair of the Board. We had new family members joining the board, learning about family foundations, and learning about their new role of governance. Having these job descriptions really helped us clarify the different roles of board and staff and how we would work together. So we did do that from the beginning.

SARAH CAVANAUGH: We have a formal process of review. It’s called a 360 and it involves gathering feedback from everyone you work with who might have information that can inform the work you do. This approach requires that you interview grantees, family members and other colleagues in the field. It requires going outside the family as well as talking with those within the family to do the evaluation. When done right, it gives you a much broader picture, and can diffuse the dynamic of, “Mom’s only going to say nice things about me.” You really need to go outside of those family relationships to find the useful nuggets of information.

Read the full interview with Liz Walters and Sarah Cavanaugh about family members as staff at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.