CFLeads: Community Foundations Leading Change


Family Economic Security Project

Are community foundations around the U.S. working to increase the economic security of families in their communities? If so, what are they doing?

CFLeads sought to answer those questions through an electronic survey of U.S. community foundations in December 2014 and January 2015. The survey gathered data on efforts by CFs, of various sizes, to help low-income families:

Family Economic Security
2015 Survey Findings

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The survey asked CFs to identify their grantmaking and non-grantmaking activities in four specific categories:

  1. Asset Development: programs and policies — for example, financial-literacy and debt-reduction services — that help low-income people increase their income and financial security.

  2. Workforce Development: programs and policies — e.g., job training and scholarships — that build skills and improve employability.

  3. Making Work Pay: programs and policies — e.g., paid sick leave and increases in the minimum wage — that build the value of work and make it easier for low-income people to keep the jobs they get.

  4. Economic and Regional Development: programs and policies — e.g., transportation planning, community wealth-building strategies — that improve the overall economic environment, including for low-income workers.

In all, 117 CFs responded to the survey — including 59% of the 100 largest community foundations. The overall response rate was 17%.