The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation's board of directors and regional advisory boards gathered for the 2013 Annual Leadership Summit in Plymouth, N.H.
Embedded in community
The foundation is that rarest of entities in New Hampshire: a truly statewide institution that is also embedded in every community in the state. This is accomplished through a system of eight regional advisory boards and by having staff live and work in every region.
How they work
The core strength and power of the regional presence are the volunteer advisors, individually and collectively. They ground the foundation in the community and link the work to donors, grantees and opinion leaders. They review and approve grants, host events, and identify and lead community initiatives.
They also strengthen governance by providing a pool of talent and collective wisdom. Regional advisors make up the majority on three of the foundation's most important committees: Fiscal Policy, Grant Review and Nominating. They are advisory to both the board of directors and the staff. Each regional advisory board is assisted by a staff team with expertise in grantmaking, philanthropy and administration.
Replicated around the world
Once unique in the world of community foundations, New Hampshire's regional approach has been copied in many other places around the country and in Europe.