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About the Toolkit
What Is in the Toolkit How to Use the Toolkit


When we wrote On the Brink of New Promise: The Future of U.S. Community Foundations, we knew it would be difficult to act on many of the ideas we were proposing. We created the “futuring toolkit” to give community foundations a set of worksheets and discussion guides to use and adapt as they seek to apply the lessons of On the Brink of New Promise to the specific circumstances of their organizations and their communities.

The report and the tools are intended as a set of flexible, evolving materials that will help community foundations continually adapt to the changing contexts in which they are working. The individual tools—and the collective whole—are designed to help you understand the immediate meaning and opportunities for your organization as they relate to the report’s recommended shifts in focus:

  • From the institution to the community
  • From managing financial assets to long-term leadership
  • From competitive independence to coordinated impact

We welcome your thoughts, experiences, and improvements in these products. In the spirit of adaptation, improvement, and ongoing change, please write to us at to tell us how you used the materials, how they worked for you, and ways to improve them. Send us any new or revised documents that you develop from this framework. We are particularly interested in hearing from new, small, and rural community foundations, so we can ensure that the materials are useful to all types of funders. All of your experiences will inform the development of an even better toolkit for your community foundation peers. We will continue to post revisions to the tools as they are used, adapted, improved, and added to by the field.

Quick Links to the Tools

On the Brink of New Promise Full Report

Executive Summary

Complete Toolkit

Guide to Using the Toolkit

Powerpoint Presentation

Presenter’s Guide

Scenario Discussion Guide

Community Change Discussion Guide

Mapping Your Community Philanthropy Environment

Strategic Roles Assessment

Prototyping Community Solutions

Renewing Strategy

Monitoring Local Change


What Is in the Toolkit?
How to Use the Toolkit
The Future of Community Philanthropy