Practice Options for Philanthropic Organizations

For Family, Independent, Community and Public Foundations, and Corporate Foundations and Giving Programs

Did Principles_65x84_1_you know?
This is part of "Principles for Grantmakers & Practice Options for Philanthropic Organizations."

View the complete table of contents or download the PDF.

The Practice Options for Philanthropic Organizations have been prepared by the Minnesota Council on Foundations as an illustration of the varying levels of practices that philanthropic organizations might adopt to implement the Principles for Grantmakers. 

  • The Principles for Grantmakers, to which all members of the Council subscribe as part of membership, are broad, aspirational statements of responsibilities implied by the public trust vested in charitable, tax-exempt philanthropic organizations and by the high ethical standards to which the Council and its members are committed.
  • The Practice Options for Philanthropic Organizations make those responsibilities more specific, creating guiding practices against which a philanthropic organization can hold itself accountable to the public and the communities it serves.

MCF has developed a single statement of Practice Options, acknowledging that there are specific differences based on type of foundation and on foundation governance structures. Where there are clear differences, we have attempted to note the unique circumstance for Family, Independent, Corporate and Community/Public philanthropic organizations.

It is the belief of the Minnesota Council on Foundations that its members already have many of these practices in place and are engaged in or committed to continuous improvement. The Board of Directors of the Council, however, requests that each member's board and staff (if they have staff), in addition to subscribing to the Principles, review these Practice Options for Philanthropic Organizations carefully. The MCF Board recommends that each member consider them and then select or develop appropriate practices that reflect the ways in which the member puts the Principles into practice.