Foundation Operations: Board Issues-> Board Structure-> Committees - GIH Skip Navigation

Foundation Operations: Board Issues-> Board Structure-> Committees

What board committees should we have? What are their roles?

Foundation boards generally have several standing (established in the bylaws) committees. Based on GIH's recent survey of 174 new health foundations, The Business of Giving: Governance and Asset Management in Foundations Formed from Health Care Conversions, committees usually include:

  • Finance Committee (94 percent) – monitors the organization's budget, and secures and may review the services of outside auditors
  • Investment Committee (91 percent) – oversees management of the foundation's endowment
  • Audit Committee (76 percent) – secures and reviews the performance of auditors, and oversees the audit of the foundation

Other committees include an executive committee, nominating or board development committee, and a grants or program committee. A board may also establish ad hoc committees or task forces for special issues or activities.

Committees carry out the work of the board and make recommendations to the full board for consideration and approval. The board chair, in consultation with the committee chair, often appoints committee members who are selected based on their skills and experience. Often, potential new leadership will emerge through work on a committee. Also, some foundations use committees to include people from the community who are non-board members.

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