Strategies to Achieve Social Impact
TCC Group Strategy Programs/Grants Management Capacity Building Evaluation

Private Foundation Grants Management Services

TCC Group provides a full spectrum of strategy and management services to increase the impact of private philanthropy, tailored to the specific needs of individual foundation clients. Our services include helping foundations clarify what they want to achieve and how they plan to achieve it (including strategy development, planning, grant advising, and field analysis), as well as helping foundations function effectively and efficiently (including grants management, due diligence, and back office administration).

TCC Group’s private foundation management practice provides a broad range of customized services to many types of foundations and grantmaking entities. We focus particularly on leanly-staffed and/or family foundations that have found it cost-effective to outsource various functions to a third party. These clients often rely on our staff’s broad knowledge of philanthropy best practice, funding trends, and emerging opportunities, to inform their own grantmaking priorities.

Informed by many years of successful collaboration, our team understands that family foundations, in particular, have distinctive needs, as they seek to balance twin purposes: achieving meaningful philanthropic impact and providing a vehicle for family engagement. We currently manage and advise seven private foundations, most of whom have been hosted by TCC for eight years or longer. Our services for each institution vary according to the individual foundation’s interests, and often evolve over time to meet a client’s changing needs.

TCC Group’s collective slate of management services encompasses: program advising, grants management, due diligence, grantmaking, administration, finance, governance, management of board processes, and reporting.

Foundation Planning & Design

We are exceptionally equipped to help new foundations get off the ground in a manner most likely to enable effective operations and strategic impact. As former foundation leaders and program officers, our consulting staff brings experience and skills in developing foundation mission, vision, and values; defining program areas of interest and strategies; and developing the necessary operational infrastructure to achieve defined aims.

We can help:

  • Develop Your Foundation
    • Define mission, vision, and values and identify areas of interest
    • Determine strategies and guidelines for grantmaking
    • Provide field analysis
    • Establish a governance structure (board structure, committees, roles and responsibilities of board members)
    • Establish operational systems and processes, aligned with organizational capacity
  • Build Tools and Administrative Processes
    • Identify and implement appropriate grants management system and processes, including grants application approach, field proposal review, grant awarding, due diligence, and reporting
    • Design filing and tracking systems
    • Establish functioning foundation communication presence

Foundation Management

Our longstanding relationships with diverse foundation management clients attest to our capacity to provide high quality services in day-to-day program operations, grants management, and administration. Our organizational development expertise equips us to help funders anticipate and overcome common operational challenges in staffing, grants management, and administration.

We routinely assume responsibility for:

  • Grants Management
    • Conduct research on areas of interest and prospective grantees
    • Strengthen learning through site visits and grantee communications
    • Provide grant review and due diligence (including overseeing application processes, proposal analysis, and financial health review)
    • Assess foundation grantmaking trends and portfolio history to ensure maximal impact
    • Synthesize background materials to inform board understanding of impact (including impact data, financial analysis, and stakeholder assessment)
  • Grants Administration
    • Serve as front line staff for communications with grantees, applicants, and the general public
    • Oversee grant processes, payments, and report requirements (including announce processes and deadlines to potential applicants; track application submissions/status/decisions in database; design, prepare, and send grant and decline letters)
  • Governance & Foundation Administration
    • Manage and facilitate Board meetings (including logistics, docket preparation, minutes, and coordination of external Foundation advisors)
    • Grant cycle planning, scheduling, and adherence
    • Maintain general administration (including upkeep of database, filing, etc.)
    • General bookkeeping; prepare information needed for audits and tax returns

For more information, contact Melinda Fine, Director of Philanthropy and Strategic Partnerships, to discuss planning and grants management services for private foundations.

In Practice

A client for nearly 15 years, the Mary J. Hutchins Foundation invests in organizations across New York City that are tackling the root causes of poverty and through strategies that include direct service, policy, research, and advocacy. TCC Group has helped the Mary J. Hutchins Foundation develop best practices in grantmaking processes and procedures, conduct due diligence, and analyze portfolio performance to guide trustees in making strategic choices. TCC Group handles all parts of the grantmaking process – from inviting organizations to apply and reviewing and summarizing the applications, to the disbursement of funds and follow-up with grantees. We also participate in, record, and coordinate the logistics of board meetings, as well as provide the full range of administrative duties and bookkeeping for the Foundation.

The Ohrstrom Foundation, a client for almost 15 years, is a multi-generational 30-plus member organization with a mission to build strong and healthy families and communities, and to protect cultural and natural resources. TCC Group’s role encompasses providing ongoing administration and grantmaking support to governance planning, next generation engagement, program strategy, grant assessment, and operations planning. Through our day-to-day management of the Foundation, we have been able to identify and address emergent issues, drawing on our experience working with family foundations to develop solutions that balance effective philanthropy with family engagement.