Two weeks ago, CEP released a report about strategy at community foundations. Last Thursday, Ellie Buteau wrote a blog post about some responses we have received since the report’s release. Today, Alicia Philipp, who was a member of the advisory group for this study, weighs in with her thoughts on the report. Philipp is president of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta.
Thoughts about CEP’s Recent Report on Community Foundation Strategy
I would like to weigh in with my thoughts on CEP’s new study of strategy at community foundations. I served as a member of the Community Foundation Strategy Study Advisory Committee and, hopefully, added input to the design but I take neither credit nor criticism for the study or the results. I do know that I, along with others, raised concerns about a singular focus on program strategy at community foundations and pushed successfully for the broader look at both strategy in donor and programmatic work.
My main worry about too great a reliance on this study arises from the sample size of 30. While it may not still be “if you have met one community foundation, you have met one community foundation”, it is not far from the truth. I can’t help wonder how the next 30 interviews would have changed the results.
That said, I believe community foundations are still in the early stages of figuring out how to have an overall strategy for their work that encompasses donor and program. The silos for many of us are hard to break down. Even in this study the two were looked at separately. Success will be when the articulation of our strategy is different from private foundations because of the unified way we impact communities with all of our assets (literally and figuratively).
David Trueblood is vice president – communications and programming at CEP.
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