Fiduciary Knowledge: Where Does Your Community Foundation Stand?
Preliminary Results of the AHFC Fiduciary Survey of Community Foundation Leaders
At KACF’s National Conference in October, Community Foundation leaders gathered in Wichita to trade ideas and intelligence, offer and obtain new ideas, and enjoy the company of peers. FiduciaryPath Fiduciary Consultants leaders Allan Henriques and Kate McBride, who attended and supported the conference, are conducting a survey of Community Foundation leaders about their Investment Fiduciary Best Practices. While the survey is ongoing, here is a sneak peek at preliminary results.
Among Community foundations with up to $500 million in assets, it was good to see that all respondents say they have an Investment Policy Statement that governs the organization’s assets and more than 64% say it is updated annually.
However, only 64% report that their investment advisors/managers acknowledge their fiduciary duties to foundation leaders in writing. Foundation board members and executives are personally liable for the prudent management of the organization’s assets and understanding and acknowledging their fiduciary responsibilities is essential in being able to manage those risks. Foundation leaders can delegate some of that personal and institutional fiduciary responsibilities to “prudent experts” who acknowledge their fiduciary duty in writing.
The group was split about whether board and executives sign a written acknowledgment of their fiduciary duty and responsibilities: 55% say no, or don’t know, while 45% say yes. It is a best practice to have all fiduciaries – board and leadership as well as service providers – to the foundation acknowledge that in writing.
One of the first steps community foundation leaders can take to maximize the resources they have, and fulfill more of their mission, is investment fiduciary training for board members and executive leadership. Especially if some board members or leaders don’t realize the awesome fiduciary power and responsibility they hold – and this is not uncommon. Only 36% of participating foundation leaders provide Investment Fiduciary Training for boards and executives. This is something that is enormously beneficial for the organization and its mission – we can help.
Thank you to all of the leaders who have already participated in the survey. We hope you will join so many community foundation leaders who have participated and take the brief (4 minute) online survey. –Kate McBride, AIFA®