Consulting Services

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The Community Foundation provides philanthropic counsel for families, individuals, businesses, communities and even other foundations to help them articulate their philanthropic visions and attract and distribute the resources needed to realize their goals.

Philanthropic planning can be accomplished in a variety of ways. All services are customized to fit your needs and are designed to support and energize you on your philanthropic journey. We are open and flexible in our approach to helping you through confidential and personal contact with a staff member of the Foundation.

Areas in which we can help include:

Framing of Charitable Intent

Most donors know they want to make a difference in a general area, but have difficulty pinpointing how to make a difference. The discovery and framing of charitable intent is one of the most frequently requested consulting services of The Community Foundation. The Foundation staff maintains complete objectivity as they help donors discern how to translate their passions into a philanthropic giving program. Through an in-depth exchange focused on donor objectives and motivations, the process yields highly articulated, actionable goals that are ready for implementation.

Facilitating Family Philanthropy

Families facing decisions about philanthropy often find that a third party facilitator can help bring together all members’ and/or generations’ desires and hopes for long-term giving. In an individual meeting or retreat format, The Community Foundation can help families merge disparate goals into a unified plan for giving. From years of experience working with donors and grantseekers alike, the Foundation staff knows how to facilitate discussions that focus the diverse interests of family members toward a common family philanthropic program that is beneficial to their causes and rewarding to the family.

Custom Research

Individuals who wish to probe further into an area of interest may call upon The Community Foundation to perform custom research on the state of the issue. Research may uncover current assets employed in support of that area or the absence of distinct levels of support. In either case, the process assists donors in deciding if they might become involved in this area of interest.

Strategic Giving and Outcome Assessment

The Community Foundation serves as the donor’s coordinator of the most important, interdependent elements of a successful giving plan. Once the donor’s charitable intent and strategy are established, Foundation staff stand ready to help the donor implement appropriate plans for their giving. Staff members work closely with the donor’s professional advisors (attorneys, tax accountants or financial advisors) to select the best gift vehicle for achieving the donor’s goals, with full consideration of key legal and tax implications, succession planning, governance structure and operation. Then throughout the life of the gift, the donor can evaluate progress toward goals and enjoy interaction with those who are benefiting from their philanthropy.

Grantmaking and Evaluation

Clarifying what you want to accomplish, selecting grantee organizations to implement your goals, maintaining relationships with grantee partners and learning from what your grants accomplished are crucial to a successful giving plan. With a gift vehicle in place, The Community Foundation is available to work with donors in any and all phases of the grantmaking process from developing a focus for giving to grant evaluation.