Understanding Foundation Finances: Financial Oversight and Planning for Foundation Boards

By Lisa M. Eslinger


$65.00 (Member Price $45.00)


Download E-book


$65.00 (Member Price $45.00)


Download E-book

Public university and college foundations play a critical role in helping public institutions achieve their missions and make college more affordable, accessible, and attainable. In challenging economic times, public foundations are being called upon by their host institutions to raise greater and greater levels of private support—via gifts, trust management, bond issuance, real estate development, and other means.

As foundations’ size and significance grows, sound financial oversight and planning by their governing boards has become more important than ever. In this new and practical guide, author Lisa Eslinger emphasizes what is most important for board members to understand, monitor, and do. In clear language, Understanding Foundation Finances covers:

  • Foundation financial trends and challenges
  • Guidelines for evaluating revenue mixes
  • Endowment spending policies
  • Checklist for public-private ventures
  • 10 tips for avoiding common financial pitfalls

Sample documents include:

  • Financial statements—what boards should look for and key questions to ask
  • Business plan, dashboard and benchmarking reports
  • Risk register
  • Gift agreement, gift acceptance policy
  • Investment policy statement

And a compelling case study describes how one university successfully leveraged the shared governance process to create a new foundation business plan for growth and broader-based support for foundation operations.

“Fills a gap for foundation boards … a resource that is greatly needed. Comprehensive and well written.” —Mike Goodwin, president and CEO, Oregon State University Foundation

“A well-written primer on the fiduciary responsibilities of foundation board members. Covers key stewardship issues in a clear and concise manner … Relevant and useful information.” —John E. Dooley, CEO, Virginia Tech Foundation

“Suggests great questions for board members to ask about their foundation’s financial statements.” —Elizabeth Banycky, former treasurer, Southern Illinois University Foundation

This AGB publication was generously supported by Russell Investments.

A bulk discount is available for orders of 10 or more copies.

  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Number of Pages: 92
  • A bulk discount is available for orders of 10 or more copies.

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