Community Foundation Approaches to Effectiveness

Characteristics, Challenges, and Opportunities

2006, 30 pages, The Aspen Institute, One Dupont Circle NW, Ste 700, Washington, DC, 20036, 202-736-5800   www.aspeninstitute.org

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Community foundations are legally classified as public charities and must demonstrate that they enjoy broad public support. Thus, unlike private foundations (typically endowed by one source), community foundations must continually raise funds from many donors. Community foundations' dual role as fundraiser and grantmaker within this legal context is key to understanding how they approach effectiveness and the challenges and opportunities that they face. Study findings indicate that community foundations need to develop and articulate a more specific and realistic definition of effectiveness that is consistent with their mission. After presenting the findings, the paper suggests one approach.