Held in major financial center cities in the U.S, and occasionally in Europe, meetings generally take place in April and October, typically from Wednesday noon to Friday noon. They feature noteworthy speakers, panel discussions, member roundtables, and time to talk informally with other members.
Webinars & FFOGTalks
FFOG hosts frequent webinars to inform members of innovative investment or financial developments. Webinars are typically recorded and archived for reference.
FFOGTalks are interactive conversations led by FFOG members with expertise & experience to address issues that are at the top of member’s minds. It’s a private forum in which only FFOG members participate and the call is not recorded.
The website provides the following:
Members can browse and search a wide variety of resources, including publications and documents, results of FFOG surveys on investment, compensation, financial and administrative topics, links to websites of interest to members, and sample policies on foundation administration, employee benefits, and investment guidelines that members can use as models.
Members can browse and search through a comprehensive directory of members and member organizations, and connect with peers who share their professional interests, foundation objectives, geographical area, and more.
Members can form online groups to collaborate on subjects of mutual interest, exchange ideas, share documents and more.
FFOG members can ask questions and share information about investment and financial matters unique to private foundations. Both the questions and answers are recorded under topic headings so they are useful for future reference. Members are notified of new postings in their areas of interest via e-mail.
The website also features information about current events, upcoming FFOG meetings, and other information of interest to FFOG members, as well as a job and resume posting area.
Published electronically each month, the FFOGHorn features financial news within the foundation sector, recommendations for interesting investment reading, information about upcoming meetings, webinars and surveys, and introductions of new members.
Three major annual surveys provide confidential comparative information for foundation management.
Administrative Costs Survey
The Administrative Costs Survey is designed to answer questions that foundation managers ask themselves regarding reasonable operating standards. The survey covers several areas of interest — 990PF information, board costs, staffing information, benefits costs, occupancy costs and other topics.
The Investment Survey, which has been conducted since 1992, provides information about foundations including total assets size, calendar year end asset allocation, long-term target allocation, investment managers employed, consultants utilized, and investment issues that foundations are facing. The survey also provides investment returns in the aggregate.
The Compensation Survey includes both the salary and benefits of all W-2 employees. The intent of the compensation survey is to provide information to FFOG members sufficient to assist in the development of position descriptions, compensation targets and compensation ranges that comply with the IRS "reasonable compensation” standard for nonprofit organizations. Each year, Mercer Consulting certifies that the survey was conducted consistent with best practices for survey design and administration, increasing the confidence management and boards place in the results.
The major surveys are conducted on-line, and the results are compiled into databases, allowing for customized benchmarking and inquiries. Historical information is also available, making the surveys a useful source of trend data as well as the best source of up-to-date comparative information.
One-day surveys are short, one-topic surveys, typically generated by a question or concern common to the membership. This allows the membership to ask questions about "hot topics” in a timely manner. Each Regular Member receives an email with a link to the survey. The one-day survey generally takes only a few minutes to answer. The survey closes after a few days and the results are reported in the following month's FFOGHorn.
A Confidential Forum, Free from Commercial Solicitation
In all activities, FFOG stresses a culture where members regard all communications as "between members only.” This supports an atmosphere of mutual trust and willingness to share expertise and experiences. While noteworthy investment professionals are often asked to speak at FFOG meetings and webinars, FFOG provides a forum free from solicitation by commercial interests.