"Who has Glass Pockets?" Indicators

The Foundation Center is cataloging foundations’ online transparency and accountability practices. The list below reflects the 26 practices we have identified.

Download this list as a PDF»

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Contact Information

Are the following points of contact provided: telephone number, e-mail/online form, and mailing address?
Increase the potential for collaboration and sector efficiency by making it easy for peers and potential partners to find a path to connect with someone inside the foundation.

Mission Statement

Is a mission or purpose statement available?
Increase understanding about your institution’s work, and build credibility and public trust by posting your organization’s mission statement.

Key Staff List

Are the names of executives and program staff available?
Humanize your institution by using your website to reveal the people inside the foundation. This also serves to increase the potential for collaboration and coordination, leading to greater sector effectiveness and efficiency.

Key Staff Biographies

Are biographies of executives and program staff available?
Build credibility and public trust by providing professional biographies for foundation executives and program staff. Staff biographies can also serve to help outside stakeholders find points of connection with those inside the foundation.

Board of Directors List

Is a list of Board members and their affiliations available?
Build credibility and public trust by using your website to reveal details about who is in charge of the foundation’s governance. Taking the extra step of posting board members’ affiliations helps outside stakeholders better understand the network and sphere of influence of the foundation.

 

GOVERNANCE & POLICIES

Bylaws

Are the foundation’s governing bylaws available?
Bylaws are an important governance document that serves as the operating manual for your foundation. Build credibility and public trust by using your website to reveal the details about how your foundation is governed.

Committee Charters

Are the foundation’s committee charters available?
Build credibility, public trust, and greater understanding by outside stakeholders of the governance roles and structure of your foundation.

Code of Conduct

Are policies guiding foundation staff conduct available, and do they include a procedure for reporting non-compliance?
Build credibility and public trust by sharing values and policies that demonstrate your organization’s commitment to professional and ethical conduct.

Conflict of Interest Policies

Is the conflict of interest policy available?
Build credibility and public trust by sharing policies that demonstrate your commitment to professional and ethical conduct.

Open Licensing Policies

Does the foundation clearly specify what can and cannot be done with intellectual property it produces and/or funds? Broadly speaking an open license is one which grants permission to access, re-use, and redistribute a work with few or no restrictions.
Accelerate progress by making it easy for peers and partners to build on your body of work.

 

STAFFING POLICIES & DIVERSITY DATA

Whistleblower Procedures

Is a policy regarding the reporting of financial improprieties or other misconduct available?
Build credibility and public trust by sharing policies that demonstrate your commitment to professional and ethical conduct.

Executive Compensation Process

Is the process used to determine executive compensation described?
Build credibility and public trust by opening up the process by which you set executive compensation.

Diversity and Values/Policies

Does the foundation provide information about its commitment or policies relative to diversity and inclusion?
Build credibility and public trust by sharing values and policies that demonstrate your organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Diversity Data

Is statistical information provided about the demographics of the foundation’s workforce and board leadership?
Demonstrate that your organization prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion by sharing diversity data.

 

GRANTMAKING INFORMATION

Grantmaking Process

Is there a description provided explaining how the foundation selects its grantees (application process or pre-selection)?
Save valuable foundation and nonprofit staff time by clearly explaining the process by which the foundation selects its grantees. Include application guidelines, or if applications are not accepted, explain how one can introduce their work to your institution.

Grantmaking Strategy/Priorities

Are the foundation’s grantmaking priorities or strategy outlined?
Save valuable foundation and nonprofit staff time by posting information that clearly outlines the foundation’s areas of focus so website visitors can quickly determine if there is alignment between the foundation’s priorities and their organization’s work.

Searchable Grants Database or Categorized Grants List

Is there a searchable database of past grants or a grants list categorized by program area? (Note: A grants list is accepted for foundations with fewer than 200 grants per year. A grants list should include recipient name, grant amount, and recipient location information.)
Bring your work to life by using your website to share data about your grants and grantees. Foundation priorities are often broad; seeing recent grant descriptions gives outsiders greater insight into your work and current directions.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Does the foundation use the Sustainable Development Goals to help describe its grants or grantmaking strategies?
Increase understanding of the intended reach and impact of your work by using the SDGs to describe your grantmaking. Using the shared language of the SDGs can help peers and partners identify potential areas of programmatic alignment.

 

PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT

Assessment of Overall Foundation Performance

Is there a comprehensive assessment of overall foundation performance and effectiveness that measures progress toward institutional mission and goals?
Demonstrate your commitment to creating a culture of shared learning across the field by opening up how your foundation measures its progress toward institutional goals.

Knowledge Center

Is there a centralized section of the foundation’s web site that provides a collection of the foundation’s program evaluations and lessons learned reports?
What shortcuts might your foundation’s lessons learned create for peers and partners? Encourage others to learn from your work by providing a central access point to the knowledge the foundation has commissioned or produced.

Grantee Feedback Mechanism

Is there an online mechanism in place so that grantees can regularly provide the foundation with feedback?
Strengthen relationships with grantees and create a culture of continuous improvement by making it easy for stakeholders to provide ongoing feedback via your website.

Grantee Surveys

Has the foundation conducted a periodic survey of its grantees and shared the results publicly?
Strengthen your foundation, and its relationships with grantees, by surveying grantees to learn from them how to improve your work. Demonstrate your commitment to improve, and potentially influence other funders in your field, by sharing what you learned and what has changed as a result of the survey.

Strategic Plan

Is information readily available that explains how the foundation defines its overall strategy, direction, and priority setting?
The problems foundations address are large ones that require collective action to solve. Sharing your strategic roadmap helps peers and partners understand if and where they might align, and how to join you on the journey.

 

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Audited Financial Statements

Are the most recent audited financial statements available?
Build credibility and public trust by providing a link to your foundation’s audited financial statements on your website.

Form 990-PF

Is the most recent 990-PF available?
The 990 is an important regulatory document that annually provides a mechanism for transparency about your foundation’s governance, finance, operations, and expenditures. Demonstrate your commitment to transparency by providing a link to your most recent 990 on your website.

Investment Policies

Are policy statements about how the foundation invests its endowment provided?
The majority of foundation endowments are invested in stocks. Build credibility and public trust by explaining your foundation’s approach to managing your institution’s investments.

Key Staff Biographies

Are biographies of executives and program staff available?

Board of Directors List

Is a list of Board members and their affiliations available?

 

GOVERNANCE & POLICIES

Bylaws

Are the foundation’s governing bylaws available?

Committee Charters

Are the foundation’s committee charters available?

Code of Conduct

Are policies guiding foundation staff conduct available, and do they include a procedure for reporting non-compliance?

Conflict of Interest Policies

Is the conflict of interest policy available?

Open Licensing Policies

Does the foundation clearly specify what can and cannot be done with intellectual property it produces and/or funds? Broadly speaking an open license is one which grants permission to access, re-use, and redistribute a work with few or no restrictions.

 

STAFFING POLICIES & DIVERSITY DATA

Whistleblower Procedures

Is a policy regarding the reporting of financial improprieties or other misconduct available?

Executive Compensation Process

Is the process used to determine executive compensation described?

Diversity and Values/Policies

Does the foundation provide information about its commitment or policies relative to diversity and inclusion?

Diversity Data

Is statistical information provided about the demographics of the foundation’s workforce and board leadership?

 

GRANTMAKING INFORMATION

Grantmaking Process

Is there a description provided explaining how the foundation selects its grantees (application process or pre-selection)?

Grantmaking Strategy/Priorities

Are the foundation’s grantmaking priorities or strategy outlined?

Searchable Grants Database or Categorized Grants List

Is there a searchable database of past grants or a grants list categorized by program area? (Note: A grants list is accepted for foundations with fewer than 200 grants per year. A grants list should include recipient name, grant amount, and recipient location information.)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Does the foundation use the Sustainable Development Goals to help describe its grants or grantmaking strategies?

Something to watch! This indicator reflects an emerging transparency trend and may rotate in the future.

 

PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT

Assessment of Overall Foundation Performance

Is there a comprehensive assessment of overall foundation performance and effectiveness that measures progress toward institutional mission and goals?

Knowledge Center

Is there a centralized section of the foundation’s web site that provides a collection of the foundation’s program evaluations and lessons learned reports?

Grantee Feedback Mechanism

Is there an online mechanism in place so that grantees can regularly provide the foundation with feedback?

Grantee Surveys

Has the foundation conducted a periodic survey of its grantees and shared the results publicly?

Strategic Plan

Is information readily available that explains how the foundation defines its overall strategy, direction, and priority setting?

 

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Audited Financial Statements

Are the most recent audited financial statements available?

Form 990-PF

Is the most recent 990-PF available?

Investment Policies

Are policy statements about how the foundation invests its endowment provided?