Whether you’re just getting started with your private foundation, or your foundation has been in the family for generations, there might come a time when you find yourself in need of some expert counsel and practical philanthropic guidance. Foundation Source’s Philanthropic Consultants and Advisory Services were developed specifically to meet such needs. They’re a one-stop resource for philanthropic consulting and expertise, provided by our in-house Philanthropic Directors.

Having our Philanthropic Directors readily accessible to you means they’re available to answer a question in real time; build family consensus and support decision-making at a major turning-point; or customize a consulting engagement around a specific need.

Foundation Source Clients Enjoy Complimentary Philanthropic Consulting Services

From the moment you become a client, our Foundation Source Philanthropic Directors are at your service. They offer a host of complimentary services for our clients, including:

  • Guidance on your foundation’s philanthropic objectives and organizational goals
  • Facilitating introductions to other funders working on the same issues
  • Serving as an ongoing sounding board for board decision-making, grantee selection, and strategy
  • Handpicking content and resources relevant to your foundation’s interests and needs

Strategic Philanthropic Consulting for Larger Engagements (Fee-Based)

Should you require more extensive support, your Philanthropic Director offers customized fee-based engagements, such as:

  • Facilitating a board meeting
  • Engaging the next generation in your philanthropy
  • Crafting your mission
  • Taking your foundation to the next level

The Foundation Source Difference

When you need philanthropic services, you could go to a philanthropic consulting firm. But why would you? We administer more than 1,700 foundations, so we know what works in practice, not just in theory. And because we know your foundation and you, we’re able to offer solutions that are based on our understanding of your unique needs, operations, and capabilities. Finally, while traditional consulting firms may have a financial incentive to lengthen engagements, our ultimate goal is your satisfaction, not billable hours, so you get straightforward advice and actionable strategies that cut to the chase.




Questions to Ask When Evaluating Philanthropic Consultants

When interviewing a prospective candidate, it is important to ask questions that address not only their specific experience, but also the best fit for your organization overall.

  1. Have you worked with an organization like ours before? This question includes but also goes beyond foundation size, board composition, and subject matter. Philanthropy is a highly personalized undertaking, and you want an advisor that instills trust; one who listens, understands, and adapts to the changing needs and varying opinions among stakeholders and integrates well with your learning process (vs. dictating theirs). Although all foundations are unique, a consultant with enough experience across the field will be well-versed in addressing the complexities and nuances of your organization.
  2. Have you done a project like this one before? For optimal results, find a candidate who has a depth and breadth of experience with projects and/or organizations similar to yours, a respected track record of successful outcomes, and a working style that fits well with your organization’s structure and resources.
  3. How many other clients and projects will you be handling while you are working with us? Often juggling several projects and clients at the same time, the right advisor is an expert at time management. However, you’ll want to make sure your candidate is not over-extended and has the time both to meet deadlines and be responsive to your needs.
  4. How much foundation board and staff time will it take to support your work? Working with an advisor often requires additional staff time to gather data; communicate with other staff members, board of directors and grantees; and implement changes. An advisor may need to interview key stakeholders and facilitate meetings. Knowing what is required beforehand will ensure that expectations of resources will be well managed.