• Establish the mission and policies that enable the Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) to improve the quality of life for people in and around the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts; and
  • Manage all CCF property for the purpose of building and maintaining its philanthropic endowment and operations to meet the mission.


Term of service: no more than two, consecutive five-year terms

Quorum: One half of the overseers shall constitute a quorum with voting decision by majority of the quorum present

Organization:  The board elects a president and treasurer serving terms determined by the board and organizes a committee structure to meet its fiduciary and operational oversight responsibilities

General Powers:

  • Oversight of the Foundation’s assets
  • By-laws, enacted by the chair for its own governance and amended or repealed from time to time as deemed necessary.
  • Administration, activities, policies and development of the Cambridge Community Foundation
  • Power to invest funds given directly to the Cambridge Community Foundation for administration
  • All the necessary powers to fulfill these responsibilities

Power over Income and Principal:

  • To select and determine charitable objects and purposes
  • Select annually or more often recipients and the amount to be distributed

Additional Powers:

  • To modify any restriction or condition on distribution of funds
  • To replace any trustee, custodian or agent for breach of fiduciary duty
  • To replace any trustee, custodian or agent for failure to produce a reasonable ( as determined by the board) return of net income and appreciation with due regard to the safety of principal over a reasonable period of time


Major Responsibilities

The Cambridge Community Foundation’s (CCF) mission is to connect people, knowledge and resources to catalyze change and improvement in Cambridge. We aim to foster a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive Cambridge with a culture of giving and opportunity for all. To fulfill this mission and vision, CCF provides funds to a broad and balanced group of nonprofit programs that contribute effectively to the well-being of the people of Cambridge, offers donors an opportunity to invest in their community through a variety of responsibly-managed funds, and generates civic leadership through convening, dialogue and research.

In order that CCF fulfill this mission, members of the Board of Overseers are expected to provide stewardship in the following vital areas:


The Board conducts the corporate affairs and exercises all corporate powers. Particular management tasks are delegated to the CCF president and CCF board committees, but the ultimate direction for the organization remains with the board. Because of this legal responsibility, members of the board must perform their duties with care and act in good faith.


  • Regular attendance at four board meetings (September, December, March, June and meetings of teams/committees on which you serve) plus one four-hour strategy session each year;
  • Participating in two or more site visits to funded agencies annually;
  • Avoiding the reality or appearance of conflict of interest in financial and grant decisions;
  • Participating in a periodic board self-assessment survey and discussion.


The board has ultimate responsibility for the financial solvency of CCF. Board members are expected to:

  • Review CCF’s budget and audited financial statements at least annually;
  • Participate in setting fund development goals for CCF;
  • Support the Cambridge Community Foundation as a donor by making CCF a philanthropic priority; serve as an ambassador in the community, to share the impact and importance of  the Foundation, and to attract a broader supporter/constituency base; and, provide counsel and resources that benefit both the organization’s operating position and long-term granting potential;
  • Make CCF a priority in annual giving for operations and civic leadership, as well as making a major commitment in support of increased grantmaking , either through a philanthropic fund or a planned gift.


The board is responsible for setting all policies of the organization. First and foremost in this area, the board is the custodian of purpose, responsible for seeing that CCF’s mission lies at the heart of all work undertaken. The board also establishes by-laws, sets goals and objectives and approves plans and programs for CCF. In all this work, the board seeks to position CCF as a source of innovative civic leadership in Cambridge.

Employment of the President

The board is responsible for: hiring, setting compensation for, evaluating, terminating, and participating in search efforts as needed.

Public Relations/Interface with the Community

Each volunteer board member brings community representation to this board, and brings particular knowledge, skills, or viewpoints to the organization. Interpreting the programs and activities of CCF to a range of communities is a responsibility of each board member. As a representative of CCF, board members are expected to be able to speak knowledgeably about the major programs and funding needs of CCF and to stay abreast of issues in Cambridge in which CCF is engaged.

Less tangible is willingness to:

  • Work in effective group process;
  • Respect requests for confidentiality;
  • Participate in frank and honest discussion with respect for diverse views.