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Project History

 

This website contains the results of a unusual partnership between two independent consulting firms—Blueprint Research & Design, Inc. and the Monitor Institute—working in close collaboration with two of the nation’s leading foundations—the C.S. Mott Foundation and the Ford Foundation—with extensive input and feedback from hundreds of community foundation practitioners.

The overarching project situates community foundations within the larger field of community philanthropy globally. Our first products, developed in late 2005, focused on the future of U.S. community foundations. In 2006, we continued our research, shared our findings through conference presentations and select community foundation workshops, published periodic briefings and updates about emerging issues, and begin inquiry into the planned international phase of the project. We will continue our work through the end of 2008, spotlighting and elucidating the three new principles for community foundations described in On the Brink of New Promise: a shift in focus from the institution to the community, a shift from managing financial assets to long-term leadership, and a shift from competitive independence to coordinated impact. During this phase of work, we will release four more Future Matters reports and will continue to present and catalyze discussion of hte issues covered in these reports through engagements at various community philanthropy venues.

The findings from the first phase of the inquiry are captured in On the Brink of New Promise: The Future of U.S. Community Foundations, which was released at the Fall 2005 Council on Foundations community foundations conference in Seattle, Washington. The accompanying toolkit to help individual community foundations apply the lessons of On the Brink of New Promise to the specific circumstances of their communities and organizations was made available here in November 2005.

 

 
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The Future of Community Philanthropy