Best Practices

Best Practices in Organizational Management

At The Community Foundation we believe that one of the best ways to improve our community is by strengthening nonprofits doing smart, innovative work in our region. A strong nonprofit sector is a collaborative one made up of organizations that effectively manage operations and high-performing programs based on community need. This requires knowledgeable and capable staff, strong leadership, value for innovation, a clear vision and a plan. 

Effective, sustainable programs are the result of strong organizations. Through our work with nonprofits we have been able to identify key factors that drive an organization’s success. A few of those factors include: board and staff engagement, sound fiscal health, mission driven operations and of course, commitment to excellence.   

Based in part on the Foundation’s Managing for Excellence Award, Foundation staff has documented best practices in organizational management in six key areas of operations. Each page below outlines characteristics of effectiveness for the area of focus in addition to providing related resources. The following pages are meant to illustrate for nonprofits, donors and others the Foundation’s point of view when reviewing a nonprofit organization’s request for funding:


General Resources for Nonprofits 

  • Nonprofit Management Knowledge Base section of GrantSpace, a service of the Foundation Center, offers information and resources that are specifically designed to meet the needs of nonprofits worldwide in need of know-how for securing funding and operating effective organizations
  • The Georgia Center for Nonprofits (GCN) provides a comprehensive suite of resources that build higher-performing nonprofits – through training, membership, consulting, knowledge sharing, advocacy and collaborations. 
  • Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool, created by the Social Venture Partners of San Diego, an organization that cultivates effective philanthropists who drive community solutions with investments of time, expertise and resources in San Diego 
  • The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit advisor and resource for mission-driven organizations and philanthropists
  • Independent Sector, the leadership network for charities, foundations and corporate giving programs committed to advancing the common good in America and around the world
  • Fieldstone Alliance, an organization that provides user-friendly publications that help nonprofit, community, funders, government, and business leaders improve their communities

  Community Foundation Resources
  • The Nonprofit Toolbox program provides nonprofit organizations with tools to strengthen their management, governance and operations. Nonprofit Toolbox awards are not financial grants; they are custom-designed packages of management consulting to help solve a key organizational challenge or problem.
  • Nonprofit Scholarships – Opportunities are available for nonprofit staff and board members to attend professional and organizational development workshops and trainings. Through this opportunity, The Community Foundation will cover the cost of attendance for workshops, trainings and conferences for selected programs. Nonprofit organizations that received cash grants from any of The Community Foundation’s discretionary grantmaking programs (Common Good Funds, Arts FundAIDS Fund, Neighborhood Fund, Local Funds and Grants to Green) within the last seven years (2005-2011) and 2012 grantees may take advantage of this opportunity.



Our Civic Health


At The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, we know that thriving communities are communities that actively participate in philanthropy and civic engagement.

Learn more about results from a recent survey on civic life in metro Atlanta.

Strengthening Nonprofits

Choose an area below to learn more about characteristics of nonprofit effectiveness

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