FAQS

What does “Philoptima” mean?
Philoptima is a pseudoword inspired by two terms. Philo is a Latin root used in the word Philanthropy that means “brotherly love of mankind”. Optima is the plural of optimum that means the best of several possible outcomes. Philoptima was created to convey the best of philanthropic solutions.

What is “Philoptima Consulting”?
Philoptima Consulting is a private firm specializing in finding strategic solutions for grant-making foundations, donors, and corporate clients.  We have extensive experience in guiding large nonprofit asset conversions such as the sale of hospitals, insurers, and health systems into various forms of post-sale health legacy foundations. Our clients often engage us to help develop their grant types and tools, guidelines for grant applications, methods for monitoring progress, and summative evaluations.  These business-like approaches boost the impact of their grants and qualifying expenditures in the community.  Our team is also skilled in board retreat facilitation, needs surveys, internal functional assessments, communications and advocacy.

What are the various disciplines in which Philoptima Consulting works?
The Philoptima Team concentrates on private foundation clients and other donative entities such as family trusts, corporate donors, and high net worth individual donors.  Our clients are generally interested in giving beyond simple charity (which in itself plays an important role in a giving portfolio) in favor of more developed philanthropic strategies and tools.

What services does Philoptima Consulting provide?
We help our clients develop a strategic grant-making business plan that clearly links the organization’s mission to each grant through goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. We design and facilitate board and staff retreats to create consensus around the organization’s goals. At the request of nonprofit hospitals or a state attorney general, we map out a nonprofit conversion Advisory Plan to specify and assure how assets will be used following the sale of a hospital or nonprofit health plan. At the request of health legacy foundations, we can complete an independent community health needs assessment to guide the foundation’s grant-making activities. We conduct highly confidential board function assessments and recommend ways to improve the boardroom climate and work. Grant-makers also ask us to help them design a fair and balanced system for selecting applications for funding. Finally, we help organizations seeking to reexamine their work to evaluate the effectiveness of the enterprise as measured against their missions.

What is a “conversion” or “health legacy” foundation?
A legacy foundation is created from the residual assets (usually cash but occasionally functional partnerships, real estate, or other tangible assets) produced by the sale of a nonprofit entity such as a hospital, health insurer, or even a lending organization.  The residual asset in such a transaction cannot by law inure to the benefit of another individual unlike what happens when an owner sells a proprietary business or stock in a for-profit company.  The residual is typically organized as a nonprofit private foundation from which grants are made to other nonprofits in accordance with its mission.