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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FAOG and CF Insights Growing Pains Survey Results

September 10, 2019

Community foundation growth impacts all aspects of the operating model. Whether growth happens steadily or is the result of a large, one-time contribution, it is likely to create the need for additional capacity. Through a survey created and disseminated by the Fiscal and Administrative Officers Group for Community Foundation for its members, CF Insights examined some of the key differences in capacity in the financial and administrative functions of community foundations of different asset sizes, presenting its findings at their biennial conference in San Antonio in September 2019. Data points included gift and grant transaction volume, occupancy and technology costs, and when a dedicated HR director is typically added to the staff.FAOG and CF Insights made the slide deck of the conference presentation available here.

Assessing the Need for a Nationwide Community Foundation CEO Network

September 20, 2018

In partnership with a group of community foundation leaders, CF Insights conducted a field-wide survey of community foundation CEOs to determine the strength of demand for their own formalized, unified network, which would allow them to connect to each other on issues relevant to chief executives from across the community foundation field. This report examines the results.

Volunteering in Oregon Strengths and Opportunities in the Nonprofit Sector

July 22, 2016

Volunteering in Oregon2The Volunteering in Oregon (VIO) project, conducted in 2016 and commissioned by The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), sought to explore key questions related to volunteering in Oregon among nonprofits in the state. The VIO project included a statewide electronic survey with a random sample of nonprofit organizations, an electronic survey with a convenience sample of volunteers within these nonprofits, interviews with representatives from nonprofit organizations, and three case studies based on a document review and key stakeholder interviews with representatives of each organization. Ultimately, the aim of the VIO project was to identify recommendations and action steps for how OCF and its partners might best encourage and support effective volunteer engagement and service in Oregon.

Council on Foundations: Commonfund Study of Responsible Investing

July 14, 2016

The "Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Responsible Investing", was issued jointly today by the two representative organizations.  The study, believed to be the most comprehensive and detailed to date on the topic among private and public foundations, analyzed the policies, practices and attitudes with respect to responsible investing among 186 U.S. private and public/community foundations representing a total of $39.7 billion in endowment assets as of December 31, 2014

Issue One

Breast Cancer Survivorship Rehabilitation Initiative: Community Report

October 7, 2015

The Breast Cancer Survivorship Rehabilitation Initiative (BCSRI) conducted an assessment of breast cancer survivorship services in the Greater Birmingham area, including Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, and Walker counties, over the course of four (4) months. Project staff disseminated surveys and conducted one-on-one interviews with self-identifying respondents. Following the conclusion of both the surveys and interviews, discussion groups were held. An Ad Hoc Committee was then formed from a group of community leaders and experts in the field of cancer survivorship to review the data and provide feedback. The BCSRI also conducted interviews with the directors of 12 cancer survivorship programs throughout the country. The aggregated data was presented in monthly meetings to a leadership team consisting of executive level hospital administrators in the Greater Birmingham area.This report will summarize the data and serve as a resource to develop programs throughout the community to provide breast cancer survivorship care and patient advocacy. Next steps include developing the infrastructure needed to build a survivorship program that will meet the needs of breast cancer survivors in the Greater Birmingham area, and potentially become a model that can be replicated for other cancer types and diseases or for breast cancer survivors in other communities.

Overhead Madness: A Look at Grantmaking Policies and Practices in Funding Real Costs in California

August 25, 2015

The Real Cost Project is a joint statewide initiative of Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers. The goal of the Real Cost Project is to increase the number of funders that provide real-cost funding and to build the skills and capacity of all those engaged in grantmaking, including foundations, corporations, individuals, and government. The critical first step of the project was to collect information and baseline data on the spectrum of current funder and sector practices that relate to real cost funding. From February to May 2015, research was conducted through qualitative methods, including an environmental scan of research and studies related to funding of overhead and one-on-one interviews with practitioners in the field statewide. Interviews were conducted with Board Members, Executive Directors, and Program Officers, representing a variety of funder types, including corporate foundations, family foundations, community foundations, giving networks, public endowments and individual donors.

Creative New York 2015

June 1, 2015

Coming ten years after the publication of our 2005 Creative New York study, this report takes a fresh look at the role of the arts and the broader creative sector in New York's economy, provides a detailed analysis of what has changed in the city's creative landscape over the past decade and documents the most pressing challenges facing the city's artists, nonprofit arts organizations and for-profit creative firms. The study was informed by interviews with more than 150 artists, writers, designers, filmmakers, architects and other creative professionals, as well as advocates, nonprofit administrators, donors and government officials. These firsthand accounts were supplemented with an analysis of Census, labor, tax and grant data in addition to a variety of surveys and research reports.

The Hawai'i Giving Study 2015

May 15, 2015

The Hawaii Community Foundation commissioned SMS Research to conduct a telephone survey of 900 households throughout the state on their charitable and philanthropic giving and volunteering. This research on Hawaii's givings follows up similar surveys conducted in previous years. The percentatge of Hawaii's households that give cash, goods and time (volunteer).The amount of their giving.What kinds of nonprofits and issue areas they contributed to.Reasons and motivations for giving to charity and nonprofits.Plans for giving that people include in wills, bequests or trusts.

Brooklyn Insights: Final Report

October 27, 2014

This report documents the findings from conversations with nearly 1,000 residents, advocates, and leaders to discuss Brooklyn's future, and to put their voices and ideas at the forefront of our work.From the bustling sidewalks of Sunset Park, to the lush gardens and farms of East New York, to the vibrant neighborhood blocks beyond the boardwalk in Coney Island, the Brooklyn Community Foundation learned about the intense challenges facing residents, and the opportunities they see for bettering their lives. Over six months, we discovered more than we ever imagined, and repeatedly heard about five major themes that thread through all of our communities.

Parent Story Project: Perspectives on Raising Children in Silicon Valley

June 13, 2014

In 2013, Silicon Valley Community Foundation launched the Parent Story Project -- the ?rst-ever regional study to investigate what it is like to be a parent of a young child in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The Parent Story Project provides us with a better understanding of today's early learning landscape, the region's most challenging problems and the ripest opportunities for affecting the lives of Silicon Valley's youngest children -- birth through age 8 -- and their families

2013 Oregon Values & Beliefs Survey

October 7, 2013

The summary points below draw from three statewide surveys conducted in April and May 2013. Final sample sizes were 3,971 respondents for Survey #1, 1,958for Survey #2, and 1,865for Survey #3. DHM Research and PolicyInteractive Research designed and administered the study using telephone and online formats to aid accessibility and help obtain a representative sample. Enough interviews were completed in five geographic regions (Central, Eastern, Portland Metro, Southern, and Willamette) to permit statistically reliable analysis at the regional level. The research design used quotas and statistical weighting based on the U.S. Census to ensure representativeness within regions by age, gender, and income. The regions were then weighted proportionally by population per the U.S. Census to yield statewide results.In addition to the statistical sampling whose highlights appear below, the research project includes an ongoing public involvement process inviting all citizens to weigh in by taking full or abbreviated versions of the questionnaires administered in the three surveys. This public involvement track is being managed as a separate source of data and will eventually be merged into a master file where the methods of information gathering are clearly identified and available for public access and research purposes.This study stands out from others in that, when asking questions about policy priorities with cost implications, we inform respondents that rating an item as "important" or "desirable" means willingness to support some increase in taxes or reallocation of funds from other public services. The visual surveys used $ symbols to emphasize the real-world implications of policy preferences.

2012 Grantmakers Information Technology Survey Report

September 1, 2012

Together the Technology Affinity Group (TAG) and Grants Managers Network (GMN) conducted an information technology survey of grantmaking organizations in July 2012. This survey serves as a follow‐up to similar surveys TAG has conducted in collaboration with the Council on Foundation (The Council) in April 2003, July 2005, and June 2007, and then independently in 2010.