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Governance & Transparency

The Foundation is committed to sustaining the public's trust through effective governance and full transparency. We demonstrate this commitment in many ways, including through the policies and practicies we highlight below. In addition, the Bush Foundation subscribes to the Principles for Minnesota Grantmakers of the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

Financial Information
The financial information for the Bush Foundation is reported each year in its annual report and through various tax returns. Learn more.

Articles and Bylaws/Board and Committee Charters
The Foundation’s governance structure is defined in its articles and bylaws filed with the State of Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Further, we utilize a charter and work plan for the Board and for each committee of the Board that defines the roles, responsibilities, meeting agendas and key risks addressed by each. The Foundation utilizes an enterprise risk framework to help identify, prioritize and assign risk responsibilities to management and the Board.
 
Board of Directors/Board Committees
The Foundation is governed by a Board of up to 15 members that is broadly representative of our service area. In selecting new members, the Board considers individual attributes and representational factors, as well as strategic skills and experience. The Board assesses its performance, and that of individual members, every two years. Board members may serve up to four three-year terms.

The Board makes all major strategy and policy decisions as a whole. It has chartered three committees to assist it in fulfilling its duties: finance and audit, governance and investment. The Board has also chartered an executive committee whose principal responsibility is to align the work of the Board and its committees with the Foundation's strategy, and to prepare the Board for major policy decisions at each of its quarterly meetings.

Board and Staff Compensation
The Foundation utilizes market benchmarking to help set Board and staff compensation. We also utilize a formal performance review and feedback system as inputs to compensation and to create development and learning plans for Board and staff.
 
The Board reviews and approves Board compensation approximately every three years. The Board reviews and approves senior management compensation each year. The president reviews and approves all staff compensation, including that of senior management, each year.
 
Conflicts of Interest/Code of Conduct Policy
The Foundation has a conflict of interest/code of conduct policy that applies to our Board, staff, key partners and vendors in the communities we serve. Our goal is to avoid situations where our relationships impair our ability, in fact or appearance, to be independent in our decision making. To that end, the conflict of interest/code of conduct policy is part of all contracts, and the Foundation collects annual statements from staff and Board identifying relationships that could potentially impair the independence of decision-making. We work diligently to avoid such conflicts. We communicate our policy regularly to the Board as we forge new relationships in pursuit of our goals.
 
Whistleblower Policy
The Foundation is committed to lawful and ethical behavior in all of its activities and requires that our Board of Directors, non-Board member committee members, employees and consultants conduct themselves in a manner that complies with all applicable laws and Foundation policies. To support this commitment, we have a whistleblower policy that is shared with the Board annually, is included in our employee handbook and is monitored quarterly by the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. The policy provides a communication process for any involved party who wishes to raise concerns about wrongful acts at the Foundation. Wrongful acts encompass conduct that is fraudulent, dishonest or illegal, or which violates the Foundation's Articles and Bylaws, Conflicts of Interest/Code of Conduct Policy, Investment Policy, Confidential Information Policy, grantmaking policies, employee handbook policies or any other Foundation policy.
 
Employee Handbook Policies
The Foundation maintains an employee handbook that helps define the way we work with each other and our practices around employment, security and other matters. We review the handbook annually with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors and periodically with outside counsel.
 
Investment Policy and Investment Managers
The Foundation’s long-term investment objective is to generate an inflation-adjusted return in excess of the IRS minimum 5.0 percent payout. The Foundation's investment efforts are coordinated by an Investment Committee of the Board comprised of three Board members and two outside experts, an internal investment staff that includes a chief investment officer and an outside investment advisory firm. The Investment Committee meets at least quarterly with a focus on asset allocation, risk management, performance review and investment manager selection. The Committee reviews its written investment policy each year and recommends changes to the Board. The Committee provides quarterly risk and performance reports to the Board.