Discretionary Grantmaking: Should Your Foundation Let Members Go Solo?

Foundations typically approach most grants as a team sport, debating their merits and deciding, collectively, whether they’re likely to achieve the foundation’s goals. However, in addition to granting as a group, some foundations give their board and/or family members a portion of funds to donate as individuals. This practice, called discretionary grantmaking, is legally permitted as long as the grants are consistent with the foundation’s charitable purpose, and there aren’t restrictions in the charter documents to prohibit it.