As the listing below demonstrates, our consulting practice covers most areas of philanthropic activity for many different types of clients.  About half of our assignments are with family foundations, which find our independence, facilitation skills, and sensitivity particularly helpful as they place a high value on personal relationships and family unity as well as on attainment of philanthropic goals.

Collaboration

  • On an on-going basis, perform treasurer and administrator role for affinity group of grantmakers, (Boston Education Funders, Boston, MA)
  • With anonymous foundation funding, organized and facilitated an interactive process to advance the BCA’s Strategic Partnership Initiative, involving the Huntington Theatre Company, the Boston Office of Cultural Affairs, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Druker Company, (Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA)
  • Planned and organized workshop for local, national, and international grantees working in the field of reproductive education for young women, (The Anna Lalor Burdick Program of the Lalor Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Analyzed opportunities in sustainable economic development for Boston urban communities, and an assessment of the feasibility of a funders’ collaborative, (Boston Community Venture Catalyst, Boston, MA)
  • Evaluated a long-term funding collaborative involving local Boston foundations and leading black churches in Boston, which are major providers of human resources, (Black Church Capacity Building Program, Boston, MA)

Compensation

  • Conducted study and advised on trustee compensation, (Anonymous Foundation, Boston and New York), (Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation, Huntsville, AL), (Hermann Foundation, E. Falmouth, MA)
  • Conducted study and advised on staff compensation, (Anonymous Foundation, Boston and New York)
  • Reviewed trustee compensation and family trustee discretionary grant practice, (William J.J. Gordon Foundation, Lincoln, MA)

Grantmaking Design

  • Developed RFP and guidelines for a grants program in Health Information Technology, (The Medical Society of the State of New York, Lake Success, NY)
  • Facilitated process to develop strategic mission and grantmaking program, (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)
  • Coordinated and facilitated Third Generation Discretionary Grantmaking, (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)
  • Reviewed management, governance, and grantmaking processes and procedures and developed recommendations on implementation of best practices, (Hermann Foundation, E. Falmouth, MA)
  • Organized and facilitated planning retreat to refine mission and grantmaking focus, (Fish Family Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Planned meeting to refine family foundation’s mission statement, grantmaking program, and board composition, (Maxine Greene Foundation, New York, NY)
  • Assisted family trustee with strategy formulation and selection of grantees for discretionary grants program, (Fine Family Foundation, Newton, MA)
  • Assisted with strategic planning retreat on grantmaking, administration, and governance, (Richard D. VanLunen Foundation, Columbia, MD)
  • Consulted on grantmaking, organization, and planning for a family foundation, (Emmy Lou Tompkins Foundation, Southern Pines, NC)
  • Consulted on strategic corporate contributions plan, (Tufts Health Plan, Waltham, MA)

Grantmaking Evaluation

  • Reviewed family trustee discretionary grant practice, (William J.J. Gordon Foundation, Lincoln, MA)
  • Convened funding community on Latino education in Massachusetts; documented accomplishments of coalition, (W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI)
  • Evaluated Massachusetts Fishing Communities Initiative, (The Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, New Bedford, MA)
  • Assessed the foundation’s grantmaking processes using a survey of applicants and grantees, (Davis Educational Foundation, Falmouth, ME)
  • Assessed community needs and evaluated grantmaking program, (Boston Port and Seamen’s Aid Society, Boston, MA)
  • Evaluated a long-term funding collaborative involving local Boston foundations and leading black churches in Boston, which are major providers of human resources, (Black Church Capacity Building Program, Boston, MA)

Grantmaking Research

  • Examined needs and academic research in mission focus areas, developed strategic grantmaking approach, analyzed prospective funding options, and identified funding candidates (Anonymous family trust), (Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Reported on nonprofit capital campaigns underway in the Greater Boston area, excluding the larger-budget hospitals, independent schools, and colleges, (Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, Boston MA)
  • Conducted study of national research and trends and local funding opportunities in the field of early childhood education, (Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Engaged in year-long planning process with the board examining racism in Boston, resulting in academic research of practical value to the city and its various constituencies, (Foley Hoag Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Analyzed opportunities in sustainable economic development for Boston urban communities, and assessed the feasibility of a funders’ collaborative, (Boston Community Venture Catalyst, Boston, MA)

Grantmaking Support

  • Reviewed proposals, (Bruce J. Anderson Foundation, Boston, MA), (The Boston Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • On an on-going basis, review proposals and coordinate local site visits, (The Clowes Fund, Indianapolis, IN)
  • Conduct site visits and briefings, and consult on grants, (Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation, Boston, MA)

Meetings and retreats 

  • Planning and organizing, (Families of Wealth Seminar with Charles Collier, Harvard University), (Judy Family Foundation, Chicago, IL), (The Clowes Fund, Indianapolis, IN), (Council on Foundations, Washington, DC)
  • Facilitation of meetings and retreats,(Provident Community Foundation, Amesbury, MA), (Judy Family Foundation, Chicago, IL), (Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Portland, ME), (Fish Family Foundation, Boston, MA), (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC), (Council on Foundations, Washington, DC)
  • Assisted with strategic planning retreat on grantmaking, administration, and governance, (Richard D. VanLunen Foundation, Columbia, MD), (Robbins-de Beaumont Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Documentation, (Boston Education Funders, Boston, MA)

Operations

  • Reviewed management, governance, and grantmaking processes and procedures and developed recommendations on implementation of best practices, (Hermann Foundation, E. Falmouth, MA)
  • Conducted benchmarking survey comparing health plan-affiliated foundations, (Tufts Health Plan Foundation, Watertown, MA)
  • Assisted with planning retreat to develop succession plan, address governance structure, and streamline administrative procedures, (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)
  • Planned for expansion of the foundation’s operating programs, (Holt-Elwell Memorial Foundation, Hebron, NH)
  • Assessed staffing needs for future operations, (Smyth County Community Foundation, Marion, VA)
  • Reviewed the foundation’s financial operating policies and procedures, and planning for growth, (Mass 2020 Foundation, Boston, MA)

Organization

  • Assisted with planning meeting to refine family foundation’s mission statement, grantmaking program, and board composition, (Maxine Greene Foundation, New York, NY)
  • Consulted on governance structure, nominating process, and review process for the family foundation officers, (Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Reviewed management, governance, and grantmaking processes and procedures and made recommendations on implementation of best practices, (Hermann Foundation, E. Falmouth, MA), (Richard D. VanLunen Foundation, Columbia, MD)
  • Assisted with planning retreat to develop succession plan, address governance structure, and streamline administrative procedures, (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)
  • Assisted with planning meetings to refine mission statement, governance policies, and board composition, (Judith N. and Robert P. Goldberg Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Conducted governance workshop and meeting to plan for expansion of the foundation’s operating programs, (Holt-Elwell Memorial Foundation, Hebron, NH)
  • Consulted on feasibility study, reorganization, and planning, (The Etruscan Foundation, Grosse Pointe, MI)
  • Assisted with reorganization and planning retreat for family trustees, (Vincent Mulford Foundation, Linthicum, MD)
  • Consulted on trustees as staff, (Edith Glick Shoolman Children’s Foundation, Boston and New York)

Staffing

  • On an ongoing basis, we serve as grantmaking, administrative and financial staff for multiple foundations, (please see What We Do and Our Clients for more information)
  • Performed temporary start-up staff services for a foundation with substantially increased assets, (Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Portland, ME)
  • Served as Interim CFO to assist incoming Executive Director with financial and administrative matters, (Boston After School and Beyond, Boston, MA)
  • On an on-going basis, perform administrative, communications, and organization services for affinity group that meets monthly, (Boston Education Funders, Boston, MA)
  • Assisted with position description and candidate search for the foundation’s first executive staff member, (Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Assessed staffing needs for future operations, (County Community Foundation, Marion, VA)

Start-up planning and implementation

  • Performed planning for new family foundations, (The Seed Fund, Montpelier, VT), (Eileen P. Roche Foundation, Boston, MA), (Emmy Lou Tompkins Foundation, Southern Pines, NC), (Robbins-de Beaumont Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Conducted planning retreat for two new national foundations, and related start-up work, (Physicians’ Foundation for Health Systems Excellence, New Haven, CT)
  • Assessed staffing needs for future operations, (Smyth County Community Foundation, Marion, VA)

Strategic planning and mission

  • Facilitated planning meeting on mission review and revision, (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)
  • Organized and facilitated planning process to consider a strategic mission, implement a donor legacy plan, target grantmaking, and enhance family involvement, (Judy Family Foundation, Chicago, IL)
  • Organized and facilitated planning retreat to refine mission and grantmaking focus, (Fish Family Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Assisted with planning meeting to refine family foundation’s mission statement, grantmaking program, and board composition, (Maxine Greene Foundation, New York, NY)
  • Developed strategic plan for revitalization and development of the foundation, including its philanthropic mission, (The Center for Kitchen and Bathroom Education and Research Hackettstown, NJ)
  • Assisted with board retreat to develop mission statement and grantmaking plans, (Smyth County Community Foundation, Marion, VA)
  • Consulted on development of donor legacy statement, drafting, and implementation, (Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Portland, ME), (Judy Family Foundation, Chicago, IL)
  • Facilitated planning process for the board of directors, (Roxbury Community College Foundation), (Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Portland, ME)
  • Organized and facilitated planning process to consider a strategic mission, implement a donor legacy plan, target grantmaking, and enhance family involvement, (Judy Family Foundation, Chicago, IL)
  • Facilitated planning meeting to develop strategic mission and grantmaking program, (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)
  • Reviewed foundation perpetuity versus spend out, (Greeley Foundation for Peace and Justice, Concord, MA)
  • With anonymous foundation funding, organized and facilitated a process to advance the BCA’s Strategic Partnership Initiative, involving the Huntington Theatre Company, the Boston Office of Cultural Affairs, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Druker Company, (Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA)
  • Developed strategic plan for revitalization and development of foundation and its mission, (The Center for Kitchen and Bathroom Education and Research Hackettstown, NJ)
  • Conducted strategic planning retreats, (A.C. Ratshesky Foundation, Boston, MA), (The A.M. Fund, Boston, MA), (Robbins-de Beaumont Foundation, Boston, MA), (Donum Dei Foundation, New Orleans, LA), (The Palmer Foundation, Kenosha, WI)
  • Consulted on feasibility study, reorganization, and planning, (The Etruscan Foundation, Grosse Pointe, MI)
  • Assisted with reorganization and planning retreat for family trustees, (Vincent Mulford Foundation, Linthicum, MD)
  • Consulted on strategic corporate contributions plan, (Tufts Health Plan, Waltham, MA)

Training of trustees and staff

  • Led board and staff orientation, (Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Portland, ME)
  • Performed grantmaking workshops, (Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Baton Rouge, LA), (Maine Philanthropy Center, Portland, ME), (Bernstein Family Foundation, Washington, DC), (Robert P. and Judith N. Goldberg Foundation, Boston, MA), (Brookline Community Fund, Brookline, MA), (Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Conducted workshop on understanding budgets, (Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation, Boston, MA)

Training of next generation family trustees

  • Planned and facilitated retreat for family members to review mission and strategy, decision making process, grant eligibility, and governance structure, (Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation, Boston, MA), (Emmy Lou Tompkins Foundation, Southern Pines, NC)
  • Served as organizer and facilitator at Next Generation Retreat – Dallas, Texas, (Council on Foundations, Washington, DC)
  • Provided planning and support for Third Generation Discretionary Grants Program (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)

Training of corporate employees

  • Led grantmaking orientation for associates, and familiarization with the law firm’s foundation and its pro bono work (Foley Hoag Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Consulted on strategic corporate contributions plan, (Tufts Health Plan, Waltham, MA)

 Training of grantees

  • Planned and organized workshop for local, national, and international grantees working in the field of reproductive education for young women, (The Anna Lalor Burdick Program of the Lalor Foundation, Boston, MA)

Transition Planning and Management

  • Provided transition planning support and facilitation for foundation with substantial growth in assets, (Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Portland, ME)
  • Facilitated planning meeting to consider mission, grantmaking interests, and generational succession, (Casey Family Foundation, Hobe Sound, FL), (The Palmer Foundation, Kenosha, WI)
  • Conducted search for executive director, (Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Portland, ME)
  • Consulted on development and drafting of donor legacy statement, (Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Portland, ME)
  • Provided planning and support for Third Generation Discretionary Grants Program, (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)
  • Organized and facilitated planning process to consider a strategic mission, implement a donor legacy plan, target grantmaking, and enhance family involvement, (Judy Family Foundation, Chicago, IL)
  • Developed and facilitated process to plan for generational succession, (The Payne Fund, Cleveland, OH)
  • Facilitated discussion and development of a next generation succession plan, (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)
  • Coordinated and facilitated Third Generation Discretionary Grantmaking, (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)
  • Developed and implemented recommendations to facilitate distribution of assets to a selection of successor organizations serving the juvenile justice field in Boston, (Citizenship Training Group, Boston, MA)
  • Reviewed foundation perpetuity versus spend down, (Greeley Foundation for Peace and Justice, Concord, MA)
  • Facilitated discussion of foundation planning for perpetuity versus spend down, (Sam L. Cohen Foundation, Portland, ME)
  • Assisted with planning retreat to develop succession plan, address governance structure, and streamline administrative procedures, (Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, Washington, DC)
  • Consulted on planning for next generation involvement in family foundation, (East Hill Foundation, Buffalo, NY)
  • Reviewed the foundation’s current operating policies and procedures, and helped plan for growth, (Mass 2020 Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Assisted with position description and candidate search for the foundation’s first executive staff member, (Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, Boston, MA)
  • Researched and updated the 150-year history of the foundation and its successful transformation from public charity to private foundation, (Sailors’ Snug Harbor of Boston, Boston, MA)
  • Conducted three-day retreat on planning for the future in connection with major growth of assets and expanded grantmaking, (Scripps Howard Foundation, Cincinnati, OH)
  • Reviewed grantmaking priorities as they related to growth of the foundation (Crossroads Community Foundation, Natick, MA)
  • Facilitated planning meeting to review mission and confirm plan for generational succession (The Payne Fund, Cleveland, OH)
  • Organized review and planning for foundation expansion, (Provident Community Foundation, Amesbury, MA)
  • Developed and implemented recommendations to facilitate distribution of assets to a selection of successor organizations serving the juvenile justice field in Boston, (Citizenship Training Group, Boston, MA)
  • Reviewed foundation reorganization plan, grantmaking, and staffing options, (Giant Steps Foundation, San Francisco, CA)