For whom is this web portal intended?

This portal was primarily designed for U.S. community foundation staff, board and leadership. However, this portal and the three areas of momentum it highlights may be of interest to anyone involved in the philanthropic sector.

What prompted this project?

In 2019, President & CEO Deborah Ellwood took stock of her ten years at the helm of CFLeads, shared her observations and promised to get a better sense of where the community foundation field is and where it is headed. This project is the result of that commitment.

How did you select the three areas of focus (insisting on racial equity, amplifying community voice, and influencing public policies and systems?) 

These three areas are not meant to be an exhaustive summary of all the momentum taking place in the community foundation field, but they are the three that emerged most prominently through the Igniting the Future of Community Foundations survey findings and subsequent interviews with community foundation leaders across the country. The areas were identified and further refined with input from the project’s Advisory Committee and from external voices working in the three areas.

By focusing on these three areas of momentum, we hope to provide a general roadmap for community foundations looking to address any number of issues in their community.

Why is the content presented on a portal?

While this portal displays the results of a research project, we intend to build on the three areas of momentum over time. We opted to present this content on a web portal so it can be refreshed periodically as promising illustrations and other examples are updated and as new ones arise. We hope this portal can serve as an organic resource to inform and inspire further progress.

We have also included a printable summary that community foundation board and staff can use to spark conversation and action.

How did you select the community foundations you highlight?

Promising illustrations and references largely emerged from the Igniting the Future of Community Foundations survey and interviews. We also drew on our extensive knowledge of the field, informed by years of engaging community foundations through our peer learning opportunities.

We sought to highlight examples that appeared to have the most impact in strengthening local outcomes. We also sought to highlight those that are particularly innovative and bold with the potential for application and replication across the sector. We aimed to feature a broad representation of examples across geographical areas and sizes (both in terms of local population and asset base), and diverse profiles of community foundation leadership.

Can I submit an example of effective practice or a promising illustration for your consideration as you periodically refresh the portal?

Yes! Community foundations are invited to submit any examples they would like to share that relate to the three areas of momentum by using this form. If you have an existing reference on the portal that you would like to edit or update, please contact Melody MacLean at mmaclean@cfleads.org.

How can I access the raw data collected from the Candid survey?

Feel free to contact us (mmaclean@cfleads.org) if you have any questions about specific data or other information collected through our research.

What is the next step for this project?

We intend to integrate the findings and recommendations from this project into our wider work and program offerings. We encourage community foundations to fill out our short survey to let us know how we can best support their work in these three areas of momentum.

We look forward to supporting and working with philanthropic serving organizations and others with particular expertise in this areas.  

Who can I contact about ______?

For next steps for the project and how you can get involved, please contact:

Deborah Ellwood, President & CEO at dellwood@cfleads.org

For questions about the portal and its contents, please contact:

Melody MacLean, Director of Communications at mmaclean@cfleads.org

For questions about CFLeads’ issue networks, such as the Equity Network, please contact:

Angela Brown, VP of Policy and Programs at abrown@cfleads.org

For questions about CFLeads’ other community leadership learning opportunities, such as the Executive Leadership Institute, please contact:

Len Bartel, Senior Director, Strategy and Program at lbartel@cfleads.org

If you are interested in making a financial contribution to CFLeads and our work, please visit Support Our Work or contact:

Caroline Merenda, Senior Director of Administration at cmerenda@cfleads.org.