Transparency Talk

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Glasspockets Find: Transparent Leadership Change
September 20, 2011

California Wellness FoundationBecause foundations are institutions, it is often difficult to feel connected to the people behind the institutional walls, or "in the know" about internal changes that may affect those outside the foundation. But each and every one of them is composed of a group of individuals passionately working together -- at least in theory -- toward a common purpose, and each of these individuals is connected to networks outside the foundation that add value at the personal, organizational, and sector level.

Open letter from Gary L. Yates It is, therefore, admirable when someone like Gary L. Yates, president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) for nearly 20 years, shares his intention to retire well in advance of the event with both his internal and external audiences via an open letter on the foundation’s web site. This letter goes beyond simply announcing the leadership change; Yates' message also discusses the implications this transition will have on the foundation's grantmaking program -- addressing head-on the questions in which grantees and other stakeholders have a vested interest. Change is inevitable, but made easier when preparations can be implemented based on foreknowledge. With a transparent change in leadership, TCWF is reassuring its various audiences. And in doing so, Yates reminds us that human relationships really are at the center of philanthropy.

-- Mark Foley

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About Transparency Talk

  • Transparency Talk, the Glasspockets blog, is a platform for candid and constructive conversation about foundation transparency and accountability. In this space, Foundation Center highlights strategies, findings, and best practices on the web and in foundations–illuminating the importance of having "glass pockets."

    The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation Center.

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    Director, Transparency Initiatives
    Foundation Center

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