The following was originally published on the Alliance blog on 1 September 2010. The original article can be found here.
Three community foundation infrastructure groups have decided to join forces. The Global Fund for Community Foundations, the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network, and WINGS-CF are exploring how to deliver a seamless service.
The new organization will discharge what have been identified as six vital functions:
funding to support start-up, early-stage, and innovative practice;
peer learning to share practice;
technical assistance to provide expertise;
legitimization to give new and emerging organizations credibility among their peers;
convening to share information, especially beyond the boundaries of the field;
research, information and publications to develop its knowledge base.
Proposals for delivering these services, developed with the field, will be discussed in a series of meetings, including one in Charlotte, USA in September, and the WINGS Forum in Italy in November. The new arrangements will be launched in Vancouver in May 2011 on the eve of the Community Foundations of Canada Conference.
There are also new studies to support the evidence base of community foundations. More than the Poor Cousin? is reviewed below, while the Global Status Report on Community Foundations will be released in November 2010 at the WINGS Forum. Other studies will be commissioned as needed. This work will culminate in a full business case for community philanthropy to be published at the Vancouver conference.
The field of community foundations appears to be at a ‘tipping point’. Despite a doubling in their numbers over the past decade, their value as a sustainable instrument for development and their capacity to deliver social capital is not well understood outside the field itself. If the field is to grow further, this needs to change.
Barry Knight from CENTRIS is supporting the organization of this process and would be interested in questions and comments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org