The Community Foundation has gained the confidence of local and national funders as a social entrepreneur with a proven track record of leadership in creating effective, long-term responses to emerging community issues in the Greater Atlanta region. In our community initiative work, we act in multiple roles: as funder, catalyst, partner, nonpartisan convener and/or knowledge broker. In our grantmaking initiatives, we fill unique funding gaps in the community that no other entity addresses.
Each community initiative is unique in its inception, design, funding, duration and targeted community members. When considering a new community initiative, The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors affirms that the initiative aligns with our vision, mission and guiding principles; is important and value-added; and will be implemented in ways that benefit the community. Our Board and staff rely on careful analyses of community trends and issues, appropriate research data and frequent convening of nonprofit professionals, civic leaders and others to determine the foundation’s role.
The following criteria guide staff and volunteers in making recommendations about participation in major initiatives:
- The subject area must be a Foundation priority and address a critical community issue
- The initiative should provide long-term benefits to the Greater Atlanta region
- An assessment of the financial and human resources needed to support the initiative must be completed prior to a decision
- There must be evidence of broad-based community interest and the potential for financial support (if required) to support the initiative
- Clear outcomes and time schedules are established to determine the effectiveness of the initiative
- A detailed plan must be created that specifies the duration of the initiative and describes what will happen at initiative completion
The majority of our community initiatives exist to build a certain level of community leadership in the region around a critical issue. Once this leadership has been developed, The Community Foundation then considers how to transfer ownership to existing groups or end the initiative after achieving the predetermined goal. The following criteria guide staff in transitioning community initiatives:
- The outcomes established for an initiative have been achieved.
- Other community organizations have taken responsibility for significant portions of the initiative’s agenda.
- If the initiative is supported by grant funds from The Community Foundation, and the designated fund has been exhausted and there is no need to raise additional funds.
- The social environment has changed significantly and the initiative can no longer be justified or sustained.
- A plan has been developed to effectively communicate the Foundation’s decision to transfer or terminate an initiative to all affected stakeholders as well as the community at large.