Learning from Madoff: The Smaller The Board, The Bigger They Fall

Fact: More than 80 percent of foundations that lost between 30 to 100 percent of their assets to Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme had fewer than five trustees serving on their boards.

This according to research just released by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. The study used a list of 150 foundations linked to Mr. Madoff that was compiled by Daniel E. Smith and posted on the blog of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff.

“There’s one startlingly simple conclusion here: To avoid falling prey to the next Bernie Madoff who comes along, foundations would be wise to increase the size and diversity of their boards,” said Aaron Dorfman, executive director, NCRP.

At least one place where smaller is definitely not better!