Succession in family-led board foundations—as in all organizations— is both necessary and inevitable. It can be driven by any number of reasons: The founder of a private foundation passes away with no living relatives on the board. A key member has too many commitments and wants to resign. Retiring parents want to step back from board responsibilities and pass the foundation on to their children or grandchildren. An aging board simply wants to make a forward-looking plan for its future stewardship.
In any of these scenarios, a well-planned transition presents an opportunity to reinvigorate the organization and ensure its future strength and stability. Moreover, a well-planned change in foundation leadership. Here are a number of considerations for private foundations in planning for orderly leadership transitions.