Harman Family Foundation
Adjusting to the reduction or elimination of direct donor involvement is a delicate transition. The Harman Family Foundation engaged Intentional Philanthropy to support the transition of its board structure and philanthropic focus after the passing of its donor. The family sought to incorporate new voices from various family branches and across generations into the work of the foundation while preserving donor intent and preparing for an infusion of additional dollars into the foundation corpus. Intentional Philanthropy facilitated a strategic retreat in April 2012 to solidify donor intent and priorities, verify family interest in participating in the work of the foundation, and determine the new entity’s revised mission and governance structure. After the success of the first meeting, the foundation asked IP to help create an operating plan, including job descriptions and salary surveys for several staff, and committee descriptions that included criteria for participation and the roles and responsibilities of members. The foundation then sought to expand and further define its grants program, creating additional program areas and defining strategic goals and objectives for the new areas. IP then facilitated several more dialogues, including a second retreat in 2015 for all board and committee members to make final decisions about the foundation’s strategic framework for one of the program areas in New York City. In the end, the board expanded by four, with an additional eight members serving on various committees and foundation staff and board members clarified their respective roles. Today, we support the foundation as they evaluate their current staff, overall board performance and discuss ways to refine their focus as they continue to engage new family members in the work of the foundation.