At some point in the life of most good-sized family foundations, the board will need to hire a chief executive officer. (For simplicity, CEO is used here to refer to the top paid staff person who may be called executive director, president, or a similar title.) The current CEO may retire or move on to other jobs or become incapacitated and must be replaced. Family members who become overwhelmed with handling the foundation’s work as volunteers decide it’s time to employ their first CEO. Whatever the reason, transitioning to a new leader is a critically important job for a board.
Much has been written about recruiting and hiring nonprofit chief executives and even some about foundation CEOs. But until now, there hasn’t been a manual on how to hire a family foundation CEO. The relationship between a CEO and the family that governs the foundation is unique. It’s a partnership that encompasses representing a family in a community, working within a family’s culture, and engaging in grantmaking in the context of a family legacy.
Read the full article about the importance of a family foundation CEO by Susan Crites Price at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.