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Discretionary Grantmaking: The Pros and Cons

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Categories: Supporting Your Foundation

Search Topics: Basic Grantmaking Family Engagement Foundation Governance Foundation Investments Private Foundations Basics

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. Th is 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.