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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A Portrait Of California 2014-2015: California Human Development Report

November 30, 2014

This report takes a dramatically different approach to assessing the state's performance. Instead of relying on traditional economic analysis, Measure of America's A Portrait of California uses the human development approach to tell us how people are doing. Three dimensions -- a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living -- are examined in detail and presented along a simple ten-point scale: the American Human Development (HD) Index. A Portrait of California brings together data, innovative analysis, and the American HD Index methodology to enable "apples-to-apples" comparisons of California's counties, major cities, 265 Census Bureau -- defined areas, women and men, and racial and ethnic groups. It provides a gauge of how different groups of Californians are doing in comparison to one another and a benchmark for tracking progress over time.

What's at Stake for the State: Undocumented Californians, Immigration Reform, and Our Future Together

May 9, 2013

Building off a methodology originally pioneered by co-author Enrico A.Marcelli (Demographer, Department ofSociology, San Diego State University) to estimate the unauthorized, this is the first report to estimate undocumented Californians at this breadth and level of detail. One in six California children has at least one undocumented parent and 81% of those children are citizens. Nearly half (49%) of undocumented Californians have lived here more than 10 years. Undocumented Californians comprise nearly 7% of the state's total population, 8% of all adults and 9% of the state's workforce.However, achievement of these gains will require a clear and quick roadmap to citizenship. To succeed, federal immigration reform needs to take immigrant integration seriously, and the state and local governments will need to invest in programs to raise education levels, increase English fluency and improve job skills as a way to maximize the potential of undocumented Californians and build a stronger state.

Do More than Grow: Realizing the Potential of Community Foundation Donor-Advised Funds

April 1, 2012

Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) have been a growth engine for community foundations since the 1990s but the aspiration today is for DAFs to do more. In Do More than Grow: Realizing the Potential of Community Foundation Donor-Advised Funds, new data and analysis of donor behavior reveals the significant untapped strategic value in community foundation DAFs.

Telling the Whole Story: Voices of Ethnic Volunteers in America

December 31, 2011

Compiles focus group reports about volunteerism in communities of color and immigrant communities; how ethnicity, gender, age, country of origin, class background, and upbringing shape community work; common themes; and guidance for nonprofits.

Wealth in Kern County: A Transfer of Wealth Opportunity

November 22, 2011

Examines the financials of the county's nonprofit organizations and the scarcity of endowments to fund long-term sustainability, the estimated transfer of wealth in future years, and the potential impact of capturing this wealth in community endowments.

2011 Otis Report on the Creative Economy Report of the Los Angeles Region

November 9, 2011

Examines the combined economic impact of the arts, design, and entertainment industries in Los Angeles and Orange counties, including trends in employment, salaries, revenues, and nonprofit arts groups. Offers projections for 2015 and industry snapshots.

Ripple Effect: The Economic Impact of Microlending

May 31, 2010

Examines the direct, indirect, and induced economic effects of the Opportunity Fund's microfinance lending on the Bay Area in terms of economic activity, employee earnings, employment, and tax revenue. Offers data by industry, county, and race/ethnicity.

California Dreamers: A Public Opinion Portrait of the Most Diverse Generation the Nation Has Known

April 25, 2007

Presents findings from a public opinion poll of California youth aged 16 to 22 about their personal values, experiences, and attitudes on current affairs and social issues.

Developing a Community Foundation Affiliate: A Case Study

April 1, 2006

Documents outreach efforts to donors and community members in areas of Sonoma County where the foundation previously had less presence. Describes an approach that resulted in the establishment of affiliate funds in Healdsburg, Petaluma, and West County.

pARTicipate San Diego: The Case for Increased Cultural Patronage

April 1, 2006

Evaluates community participation and support for the arts in San Diego County compared to other communities. Outlines a long-term plan to translate community involvement into increased participation, larger audiences, and greater financial support.

Open to the Public: Speaking Out on No Child Left Behind: Summary of Nine Hearings, May-October, 2004

March 31, 2005

When the No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law on January 8, 2002, the President and Congress presented the American people with an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity rests in an historic piece of education legislation designed to close the achievement gap between high- and low-performing students. The challenge lies in the need for parent and community leaders to become knowledgeable about and take advantage of various NCLB provisions for collaboration, engagement, and action.NCLB is indeed a groundbreaking piece of federal legislation. It sets forth national expectations of high academic achievement for all public school children through a mandate that all children will be performing proficiently by 2014. It significantly broadens the federal role in public education and defines more stringent standards of accountability for local public schools and districts.However, as evidenced by numerous reports and articles in the media, implementation of various provisions of the law is raising deep concerns at state and local levels. Clearly missing from this important and growing national debate are the voices of the public, particularly those from disadvantaged and disconnected communities. Parents, students and other members of the public -- largely unorganized and under-represented in national education policy -- are significantly affected by this law, inasmuch as the law is intended to enhance the effectiveness of public schools in every community by holding those schools accountable for educating every child to high standards.What has been the impact of the law on students, families, schools and communities? How can the perspectives and experiences of these individuals -- all directly or indirectly impacted by the law -- inform and improve the law and its implementation? What role does the public play in ensuring public schools that work in the context of NCLB for all children?In spring 2004, Public Education Network (PEN) sought answers to these questions by holding a series of nine public hearings across eight states. Our intention was to listen to public voices and to bring these voices to local, state and federal policymakers; to educators; to the media; and back out to the public at large. We also saw these hearings as a way to further educate the public about NLCB, building on a set of tools that PEN has produced since 2002, and to remind all Americans of the essential role that they must play to ensure a public education system that works for all children.It was important to us to honor the time and attention that the public was giving to this task. We were intentional in structuring the hearings in a respectful and consistent manner. We chose states in which to hold the hearings based on their large percentage of low-income children. All hearings were co-hosted by a local partner organization with deep ties to the community. A set of distinguished hearing officers who would listen attentively and ask probing questions of witnesses also helped to ensure authentic and meaningful testimony. The panels who testified were composed of almost equal numbers of students (high school and early college), parents of school-aged children attending public schools, and community members (including business and civic leaders and community activists) across the nine hearings. We also conducted an online survey regarding NCLB through our online advocacy tool,, to which we received 12,000 responses. These are referenced as well in the report. Since the absence of the public is too often evident in forums on public education, we intentionally did not invite professional educators to formally testify, although some did speak during 'open microphone' time following each of the formal panels.We are pleased to share what we heard. The findings include specific quotes from the public. We think it's important to bring the public's voice as clearly as we could. However, we also endeavored to cite findings and draw conclusions that reflect a general pattern or theme, which we heard across the hearings. We took great pains not to include opinions, experiences or perspectives that were unique to a particular family, community or district. The ecommendations derive from what we heard and PEN's own understanding of and experiences with the law.Our hope is that these representative voices from the public help inform how federal, state and local officials work to improve public education. As importantly, we hope that it serves as testimony to the deep concern and commitment that the public has about public education and about their local public schools.

Familia, Fé Y Comunidad: Giving and Volunteering Among Hispanics in Silicon Valley

February 7, 2005

As we talked with Hispanics in Silicon Valley about giving and volunteering, and as we reviewed our survey data, these three words kept coming up. Again and again, those we talked with mentioned family ties, religious traditions, and their sense of community as driving factors in their ownvolunteerism and philanthropy.For Silicon Valley Hispanics, community is defined by people, rather than by geography or neighborhood. Family comes first, with 88% of Hispanics deriving a sense of communityfrom family members, and 50% from friends. Many of those we interviewed said la familia is much more than family and friends; and that it includes neighbors and the broader Hispanic community as well. In fact, local Hispanics are more likely to derive a sense of community from their own ethnicgroup (53%) than either Caucasians (31%) or Asians (40%). This strong sense of cultural identity and cultural pride often influences how local Hispanic residents give, volunteer, and get involved.