The Mark Foster Foundation

The nonprofit world is different from the for-profit sector. It often lacks, for example, the clear market signals that provide crucial information in the world of business. Online rating systems are a poor substitute for these signals and can be misleading. How do you know which nonprofit organizations are effective and which ones are not? How should you assess the information that is publicly available—and how can you obtain more? Given your own goals and worldview, which groups would be the best partners for you?


Philanthropist Mark Foster did not want his collection of over 150 original works of art by Georges Rouault and Marc Chagall to collect dust in the back closet of an art gallery. He envisioned his collection of critically acclaimed art inspiring a meaningful examination of the cultural, moral, and spiritual foundations of Western civilization on America's college campuses. "I had a great interest in trying to help re-establish a trend of putting Western civilization, the great works of the Greek, Roman, and Judeo-Christian traditions, at the center of the curriculum."

American Philanthropic worked with the Mark Foster Foundation to identify, evaluate, and develop relationships with collegiate partners throughout the country to host the foundation's "Fine Arts in the Academy" exhibit and related programs.

In the fall of 2010, the Baylor University community premiered "Fine Arts in the Academy," featuring two critically acclaimed cycles: Chagall's The Bible and Rouault's Miserere. The show at the university's Mayborn Museum brought together students, faculty, and the public for viewings, special courses in the school's Honors College, public lectures, an academic conference, and a special performance by the Baylor Symphony.


  • Strategic goal-setting.
  • Identification of potential funding partners.
  • Giving portfolio and grantee evaluations.
  • Research and assessment of current nonprofit partners.
  • Analysis and improvement of giving impact.