Skip to main content

For community foundations seeking enhanced sustainability and greater impact, one path lies along alliances, affiliations, and mergers. Seasoned community foundation leaders share their perspectives on the benefits and challenges of these partnership options and on their keys for success.

Top Takeaways

  1. Despite the complexities involved, the community foundation field could benefit significantly by considering new structures—alliances, affiliations, and mergers—as a means to enhance their sustainability and achieve greater impact.
  2. Benefits of these new structures include the ability to leverage specialized expertise, to better promote philanthropy and engage donors, to amplify community leadership, and to realize economies of scale and cost savings.
  3. Keys to successful alliances, affiliations, and mergers include building trust and open communications, understanding motivations and expectations of all partners, and recognizing the process as an evolution but never losing sight of the goals.
My advice to community foundations is to be open to possibilities. Think bigger than who you are to maximize all the opportunities that can benefit the community.

Caretha Coleman, Board Member
Silicon Valley Community Foundation

This report was created by CF Insights, an initiative of FSG from 2007-2014. In 2015, CF Insights became part of Foundation Center.