Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join FFOG
FFOGHorn News: June 2017


 In this June 2017 Issue, No. 217

by John Bernstein, Chair of FFOG Nominating & Governance Committee

Which three FFOG members will join the Class of 2020? Who will be the President-Elect?
You can help decide!

We all know what happens when we do not pay close enough attention to the nomination process—now, don’t we??? Here is your chance to make sure the right people end up on the ballot this summer. That’s right—FFOG's Nominating & Governance Committee is compiling a slate of nominees—and we need to hear from you! This summer, the Board will choose three individuals, each to serve a 3-year term as a FFOG Board member in the Class of 2020. We want to know who you think should be on the ballot. Please consider members with a demonstrated commitment to FFOG: for example, members with FFOG committee experience.

We are also seeking recommendations for the role of President-Elect. This lucky individual would serve for a year alongside our current President, Karen Miller, during her final year in office giving them the experience they need for a likely transition to President beginning in fall 2018. Please consider members with long-term service to FFOG: for example, at a minimum, members having completed a 3-year term as a FFOG Board member.

If you would like to recommend a fellow FFOG member for the FFOG Director Class of 2020, or as President-Elect, please submit your nomination via the form at, or via email to FFOG’s Managing Director, Leslie Teris, at The deadline for nominations is Thursday, June 15.

When thinking of whom to recommend, have a look at who is currently serving on the FFOG board and committees, or browse through member names on the FFOG website.

We appreciate hearing from everyone!

Return to Top


The Fall 2017 Meeting will take place from October 17-20, 2017 at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston, MA. Although meeting registration will not be open until July, you can book your hotel now by clicking here. You can also call 1-800-THE-OMNI and mention the FFOG 2017 Fall Meeting to book your room.

We look forward to seeing you in Boston!


Return to Top


The FFOG 2016 Compensation Survey is now open for data entry until June 30. This year’s survey will have numerous features, including updated reports and analysis. 180 foundations took advantage of this tool last year, ensuring a robust database of your peers. Contact co-chairs Bruce Fetzer, President, Fetzer Memorial Trust, Amy Snyder, CFO Connelly Foundation, or Jim Eodice, Director HR, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, if you have not received your email invitation.

Return to Top

Quarles & Brady LLP

Whether your foundation hires immigrants, funds organizations that hire or support immigrants, or you’re just interested in an immigration brush-up, Quarles & Brady offered a very informative business law webinar on May 11th. The webinar offered a primer on current immigration law, then proceeded to discuss legislation and regulations introduced under the new administration. You may find the slides and webinar recording here.

Return to Top


Results from the recently completed 2016 Investment Survey are now available at the FFOGBank: Administrative Costs & Investment Database. Reports for Managers and Consultants will be available next week.

Participation this year was 179 foundations - an all-time high! Thanks so much to all those who participated.

Only members given the appropriate benchmarking role by the Primary Contact at your foundation can view the results. Primary Contacts, you can double check the assignments you've given your colleagues in the survey database: Administration > Member Setup.

Return to Top


The survey this month revisited the topic of grants management systems. What's happened since our May, 2014 One -Day Survey when 55% of foundations reported they were considering or had just recently made a change in their grants management system?

In 2014, we asked the following question:


55% had changed, or were thinking of making a change.

In 2014, GIFTS seemed to be the clear choice for grants management software.


2014 – 63% had Gifts or Gifts Online

When asked in the current survey: Did you change your grants management software in the past 3 years (i.e,. since May, 2014), or are you in the process of a change? 63 of the 105 respondents answered ‘Yes’. The distribution of legacy systems for those foundations:


2017 – 81% of those who made a change (or in process) switched from Gifts or Gifts online


2017 – Gifts and Gifts Online still the most popular @ 35%, but down from 63%!
Fluxx now at 16% (up from 5% in 2014)
FC now at 14% (up from 7% in 2014)
Foundant now at 10% (up from 3%)
Homegrown/Custom unchanged at 9-10%
51 foundations responded to the following question: If you made a change (or are in the process of a change) in the past three years, how satisfied are you in the performance and capabilities of your new system? To help quantify the answer choices, we used the following: Very dissatisfied = 1; Somewhat dissatisfied = 3; Neutral = 5; Somewhat satisfied = 7; and Very satisfied = 9.

Satisfaction with changes was very high. See the following results:


To give further flavor to their answers, we asked respondents to please briefly state why in the comment box with the following selection of responses:

  • [Other]We are not in progress. Our change was completed in 2010.
  • [Foundation Connect] Program users are satisfied because of the user interface. Grants administration struggles with complexity of back end functionality and Foundation Connect level of support.
  • [Foundant] Foundant's customer service is unparalleled. And as they have grown, they have been extremely responsive to suggestions for enhancements/improvements. And our grantees find it SO easy to use - they love it.
  • [Fluxx] There are limitation what Fluxx could do. However, Fluxx is willing to listen and have been working with us to add [features] to the system that are tailored to our needs
  • [Fluxx] We are in the implementation phase with Fluxx and there are still many things that need to be improved or developed--primarily reporting and impact intelligence.
  • [Foundant] More than satisfied but not quite extremely satisfied...GIFTS was a very robust database and we did not use all of its features. However, customer service was non-existent, and it was incredibly expensive. Foundant is not as robust (more right-sized for us than not), but the customer service is excellent. They willingly take your calls and hear what their users want, and the cost of the software is very reasonable. We made the right choice.
  • [GIFTS Online] The transition from Traditional GIFTS to GIFTS-Online was to be relatively easy and was promoted as being very user friendly. That was not the case for our three administrative users. The Online Training tutorials were not sufficient for a smooth transition to GIFTS-Online. The online user manual was the primary source of self-training along with the GIFTS Help Desk.
  • [Other] Navigation and report functions are better than Gifts. Lack of "parent-child" relationship functionality is a limitation but on our customization list for the future.
  • [Foundation Connect] We went live in early April with our grantees. Our IT implementation went very poorly, so we have had a lot of bugs with the go-live. We are still working through them, and hope to continue to improve on the design of the system moving forward.
  • [Fluxx] We are currently transitioning and still using the original custom system
  • [GIFTS Online] Moving from server-based GIFTS to GIFTS Online seemed like the easiest transition for our staff (and it was less expensive than the competing systems), but it's functionality is clunky, we have had trouble adapting GIFTS online to some of our grants management and reporting processes, and customer support has been inconsistent.
  • [GIFTS Online] We stayed with MicroEdge/Blackbaud because we have the BB accounting package FE7 and will migrate that to the cloud as well. Gifts Online is not as flexible as Salesforce, nor does it have workflow. We're hoping to see more R&D improve the product and get it closer to Salesforce capabilities.
  • [Fluxx] About to go live in new system; have high expectations
  • [Foundant] Reporting is not robust. Most items need to be exported to excel for presentation purposes.
  • [Foundant] The system is right-sized to our needs and was the best value; appreciate the level of customer service.
  • [Home-grown] We customized - and had control of it.
  • [Home-grown] no change
  • [Foundation Connect] more streamlined approach to grantmaking; easier access to data; cloud-based capacities
  • [Foundation Connect] All documents maintained one place, ease of access for users
  • [Foundant] We find Foundant easy to use and the customer service is fantastic.
  • [Foundation Connect] We are just about to launch, but we had recently switched to Foundation Connect at both my last foundation, as well as my grants manager's and we both LOVED Foundation Connect at those organizations!
  • [Fluxx] We are just in the process of changing. Online application is a welcome feature and better processes.
  • [GIFTS Online] Board interface system failed miserably Poor customer support
  • [Foundation Connect] Great workflows and reporting function; ability to integrate with our financial software (Netsuite)

When asked to rate satisfaction by specific aspects of the change, the results were as follows:


Fluxx, Foundant and Foundation Connect (FC) were generally rated the highest for satisfaction.

  • Foundant was rated highest for overall functionality and costs.
  • FC was rated highest for CRM features and integration with other applications, and significantly higher than Fluxx and Foundant for reporting capability.
  • One foundation rated Gifts highest for ease of data entry, navigation, and reporting capability but poorly for CRM features and costs.

To see the SurveyMonkey canned report, please click on the following link:

A few respondents asked about a similar survey for accounting software. The 1DS team has added it to the queue, look for it in the coming months.


Thanks to those that participated in the survey this month.

Please contact Bob Bailey (, Saul Bakst (, or Tim Otto ( for feedback and/or suggestions for future survey topics.



Return to Top




The results from the 2016 FFOG Investment Survey have been finalized. Tim Otto from the FFOG Research Committee shared the initial results in Chicago, IL. If you were not able to participate in Chicago, if you have affiliate members who would be interested, or if you would like to hear the updated and final results, please register to join us on Tuesday, July 11th at 12:00 PM EDT. Tim will be presenting the final figures and sharing his analysis of significant trends and insights learned from the survey results. Access to this webinar will be limited to those foundations that have completed the survey.

Return to Top



Collaborate: Hot Topics

Which benchmarks do you use to track the performance of a diversified hedge fund portfolio?
Responses to this question, posed by Eva Cheng of the John A. Hartford Foundation, revealed that the choice of index can be driven by the foundation’s goals. Several foundations use the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index, along with other indices for individual strategies. The Open Society Foundations have constructed their own peer groups of funds for benchmarking. Other members shared their benchmarking formulas, designed around return objectives. Jason Matz of the GHR Foundation shared slides outlining various index options.


Are you working on your 2018 budget? Ethan Miller of the Nathan Cummings Foundation asked whether other member are also starting to work on their 2018 budgets. The answer is yes – a number of foundations are beginning the budget process, with most presenting budgets for approval in the fall. The level of detail presented varies by foundation, from providing a high-level overview of key priorities and targets to providing a detailed budget with supporting materials designed to educate trustees.

Job Center

Director, Finance and Administration
William Penn Foundation
Philadelphia, PA

Financial Analyst
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Los Altos, California

Chief Financial Officer
The H.E. Butt Foundation
Kerrville, Texas

Manager, Compensation & Benefits
The Rockefeller Foundation
New York, New York

Director, Organizational Effectiveness and Talent Development
Northwest Area Foundation
St. Paul, Minnesota

Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
San Francisco, California

New FFOG Members

Regular Member

Kimberly Anderson,
Chief Financial Officer
Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation

Affiliate Members

Thomas Mitchell,
Director of Central Finance
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Janie Reyes-Almanza,
Staff Accountant
Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation

Amy Steele,
Global Tax Manager

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Return to Top


This month we offer a Crossword puzzle
by Michael Blake entitled Since 1926.

Click here for a PDF.

Return to Top


"Do one thing every day that scares you."

Eleanor Roosevelt




Return to Top


 Foundation Financial Officers Group (FFOG) • • 856-423-3156

19 Mantua Road  Mt. Royal, New Jersey 08061

  Regular Office Hours - 8:30am to 5:00pm Eastern

This is an automated email sent from the Foundation Financial Officers Group (FFOG). If you feel you have received this message in error, please feel free to contact FFOG at or 856-423-3156.

Unsubscribe from all FFOG email here: @@unsubscribe_url@@

Foundation Financial Officers Group • 19 Mantua Road • Mt. Royal, New Jersey 08061

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal