When most people think about foundations, they think about grant dollars. How much money do they give? What causes do they support? However, there are many different ways foundations can create change beyond the money they give. One example is the ongoing increase in impact investing among foundations. Another example is the increasing trend of foundations using their connections and influence to advocate on behalf of their grantees to achieve their missions.

While both of the examples mentioned above add to the influence of a foundation’s work, they are externally focused. At NCFP’s most recent Trustee Education Institute, we heard from the Hill-Snowdon Foundation. They recognized the need to look internally to ensure that their policies reflect the changes in society they seek to support.

What follows is an interview with The Hill-Snowdon Foundation’s Executive Director, Nat Chioke Williams. He discusses the foundation’s commitment to progressive personnel policies.

Rachel Ogorek: You all are doing some incredible work and are trying to change some of society’s most pressing issues.  Would you mind speaking a little bit about how your internal staffing works?  How are you committed to equity practices internally?

So, immediately after I was hired, one of my first tasks was to develop our personnel policies. We looked to the focus of our work, our values and principles of social justice, equity, fairness, and sustainability for families and communities, and developed something that we call  "People First Personnel Policies."  The guiding theory behind these policies was to try to figure out what the personnel policies of a social justice organization would look like if an organization had the resources to actually put them in place?

So, we did several things that we considered to not only be supportive of staff but also to reflect these values around sustainability. For instance, we had part-time staff working with us.

Read the full article about the Hill-Snowden Foundation's personnel policies by Nat Chioke Williams and Rachel Ogorek at The National Center for Family Philanthropy.