CF Insights asks a very simple but important question: "What if each community foundation could know what all community foundations collectively know?" This collection features research produced and funded by community foundations, and other resources relevant to the field. Contact us at and visit us at

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Align, Adapt, Aspire: Ten Years of Community Foundation Business Model Evolution

September 20, 2013

Community foundations understand how the traditional community foundation business model falls short of new aspirations. Sustainability is an ongoing challenge and many community foundations work towards continually adapting their business model to support a changing context and achieve enough clarity to do so in a way that is aligned with values, strategy, and culture. In In Align, Adapt, Aspire: Ten Years of Community Foundation Business Model Evolution, CF Insights examines the evolution of community foundation business model and highlights principles behind successful community foundations given shifting community needs, donor priorities, and economic circumstances.

Seeking Shared Success: Business Model Innovation Through Mergers, Affiliations, and Alliances

February 1, 2011

Learn how alliances, affiliations, and mergers represent a path to enhanced sustainability and greater impact for community foundations. Hear perspectives from community foundation leaders, access tools for considering a new structure, and read case studies from six community foundations.

Fueling Impact: A Fresh Look at Business Model Innovation and New Revenue Sources

May 1, 2010

Do you want to know how community foundations are finding innovative new sources of support, and diversifying their revenue base? How new revenue sources strengthen each community foundation's differentiation and sustainability?Difficult economic times in 2008-2010 have been an important wake-up call -- a reminder that diversifying revenue sources is an essential component of a strong business model.

Growing Smarter: Achieving Sustainability in Emerging Community Foundations: Executive summary

October 3, 2007

Most U.S. community foundations are like entrepreneurs in any dynamic industry. They face challenges in balancing their ambitious goals for community impact, growth and sustainability. The path to sustainability is not built on growth alone, but on defining desirable patterns of growth and asking thoughtful questions about the implications of choices being made.

Growing Smarter: Achieving Sustainability in Emerging Community Foundations: Discussion Guide

October 3, 2007

This straightforward but thought-provoking tool was created for community foundation board meetings. Managing growth and sustainability at today's community foundations requires strong board leadership. This guide features a series of questions related to growth and sustainability for emerging community foundations.

Strengthening Community Foundations - Redefining the Opportunities

October 1, 2003

Commissioned by the Council on Foundations and released in October 2003, this white paper details the findings and the implications of our study of costs and revenues at nine community foundations. Offering a new perspective for community foundation sustainability, the white paper proposes that community foundations examine their strategy and operations on a product-by-product basis, taking into account their mission-driven priorities, internal costs, customer preferences and the competing donor alternatives for each type of product or service they offer.