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There is a growing body of literature about community foundations and the larger field of community philanthropy. A number of organizations, including Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support, the Nonprofit Sector Research Fund at the Aspen Institute, and the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network, have developed extensive bibliographies on community foundations. Among the many resources available, we have selected a few here that we found especially valuable in deepening our understanding of the field, and that we believe would be helpful resources for community foundation leaders.

A Profile of New Health Foundations, Grantmakers in Health, May 2003. An analysis of the structures, roles, and growth of healthcare conversion foundations in the United States.

An Agile Servant: Community Leadership by Community Foundations, Richard Magat, ed., The Foundation Center, 1989. This is the classic text on community foundations, including essays about their history, activities, and roles in communities, as well as case studies about community foundation practice.

Community-Based Public Foundations: Small Beacons for Big Ideas, Rick Cohen, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), January 2004. A report profiling the status and approaches of nearly 200 progressive “community-based public foundations” identified in a 2002-2003 survey by NCRP.

Community Change Makers: The Leadership Roles of Community Foundations, by Ralph Hamilton, Julia Parzen, and Prue Brown, Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago, 2004. A thoughtful look at the many ways that community foundations throughout the U.S. are developing and expanding their leadership roles in their communities beyond grantmaking.

2005 Community Foundation Global Status Report, by Eleanor Sacks, Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS), May 2005. A comprehensive overview of the status and development of community foundations around the world and country by country.

2003 Community Foundations Survey, The Columbus Foundation. The most recent results of a comprehensive survey of community foundations in the United States conducted by The Columbus Foundation since 1998.

Covering Rural Territory: A Framework of Rural Service Structures for Community Foundations, Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, 2004. A guide for community foundations about how to use their endowment building, grantmaking, and community-building tools to better serve rural populations and areas.

“Democracy in Action,” by Scott Nielsen, Gabriel Kasper, and Jessica Chao, Foundation News and Commentary, Nov/Dec 2004. An article examining the growth, development, and prospects of identity-based focus funds in the United States.

Giving Together: A National Scan of Giving Circles and Shared Giving, Tracey A. Rutnik and Jessica Bearman, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers (RAGs), 2005. A report documenting the results of a national scan of giving circles—groups of individuals who pool their money and decide, collectively, where to donate the resources—conducted by the New Ventures in Philanthropy initiative of the Forum of RAGs.

Identifying the Patterns, Prospects, and Pitfalls in Community Foundation Growth and Development, by Kathryn Agard, Council of Michigan Foundations, 1992. This CMF study examines how community foundations develop over time and identifies a set of typical growth stages that they will go through during their life cycles.

Mexican Hometown Associations, Xochitl Bada, P.O.V., Latino Public Broadcasting, August 2004. In this report, Bada, a sociologist from the University of Notre Dame, examines remittance giving and the growing movement of Mexican Hometown Associations.

Serving a Wider Community: Community Foundations’ Use of Geographic Component Funds and other Strategies and Structures to Cover Territory, by Eleanor Sacks, WINGS-CF, May 2002. This piece assesses how community foundations can use affiliates and other structures to better serve their existing geographic territories and to expand into new areas.

Smart Growth: A Lifestage Model for Social Justice Philanthropy, Women’s Funding Network, 2003. A report and accompanying workbook designed to help funders understand the phases of organizational development that are typical of the lifecycle of growing women and girls’ funds. The basic framework is also informative for other types of community philanthropy organizations.

Sowing the Seeds of Local Philanthropy: Two Decades in the Field of Community Foundations, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, March 2001. In this highly regarded special report, the Mott Foundation shares lessons and experiences from more than 20 years of working with community foundations.

Strengthening Community Foundations: Redefining the Opportunities, Foundation Strategy Group (FSG), October 2003. This landmark white paper
documents FSG’s analysis of costs and revenues for various services and activities at nine community foundations, and explores the implications of its findings for community foundation sustainability and competitiveness.

The Big Are Big and the Small Are Many: A View from the Community Foundation Field, by Leslie Lilly, unpublished paper, December 2004. This short paper by Lilly, president and CEO of The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, examines the divide between small and large community foundations in the United States and what the differences may mean for the field.

“The Road Not Yet Traveled: A Community Foundation Movement for Social Justice,” a speech by Emmett Carson, December 2004. In this provocative speech at the Symposium of Community Foundations in Berlin, Germany, Carson examines the state of community foundations and challenges them to think about whether they are part of a movement or a field.




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