Since 2013, there have been three presidents of the eight person TFF board and an increase in involvement from the next generation of Taucks as they age into board member eligibility. Colleen Ritzau Leth, who serves as the current board president, is “third gen” and participated in the strategic planning process almost a decade ago. Leth and her fellow board members highlight both the importance and challenges of engaging younger family members–who now span in age from high school to age 40 –in the mission of the Foundation, including maintaining a connection to its geographical focus. Family members are spread internationally, making site visits to Bridgeport challenging, or impossible, amidst the pandemic.
Third generation family members are increasingly interested in ensuring the Foundation can document a “tangible return on investment” per its social investing approach, yet TFF is quantifying success using metrics that the younger generation of Taucks inherited. Will Mahar, another TFF third generation family member, joined the board in late 2019. His background in business and data analytics makes him interested in exploring an “even more deterministic way” of confirming that the Foundation’s investments are leading to the desired outcomes. As noted, the initial strategy did not include conducting an experimental design study–in which researchers aim to draw causal conclusions about the investee’s effort–within the first ten years of the strategy. Such a complex study would be costly, board members acknowledged, and a careful benefit/cost analysis would precede using Foundation assets to fund that research.