Family Philanthropy Playbook for Community Foundations

Unit 2: Organizational Alignment

What can you do to ensure that the whole organization is prepared to support your expanded philanthropic services and that other staff are aligned around effectively serving donors and fund advisors?


READ: Beyond Fundraising: What Does it Mean to Build a Culture of Philanthropy?

The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund (an NCFP Friend of the Family) funded this report about the values and practices of organizations in which everyone has a part to play in attracting and maintaining relationships with donors and volunteers. In the appendix, author Cynthia Gibson lists key indicators of assessing a culture of philanthropy in the board, the CEO, non-fundraising staff, donors, and the organization as a whole.


DISCUSS: The Source Codes of Foundation Culture

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations published this insightful report in 2015, building on Peter Drucker’s well-known quote, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The authors write that the source codes of foundation culture are the cultures of banks, universities, and larger companies. Some challenges of those cultures apply to family philanthropy services. For instance:

  • Those source codes lead to foundation culture that values data-driven decisions and cautious intellectual analyses. Does that really resonate with the giving and personalities of all of your potential donors and fund advisors?
  • The source codes prize credentialed expertise, sometimes to the point of ignoring or dismissing expertise of customers and the community. Are there ways in which you market or demonstrate your expertise that don’t feel inviting to donors who’ve developed their own wisdom?
  • The source codes reward organizational decision-making that is hierarchical and is not transparent. Is that an appealing culture to the rising generations of the families you wish to serve?

TUNE-IN (52 minutes): Topical Call — Engaging Program Staff in Donor Services and Family Philanthropy Services [members only]

The February 2017 topical call featured a round-robin discussion about involving program officers in family philanthropy services.


TUNE-IN (45 minutes): Four Steps to Authentic Donor Engagement to Drive Loyalty & Trust 

In this webinar, the Embolden team discusses how today’s social-impact culture affects the way community foundations approach marketing and communications.


READ: Ladder of Customer Service

This blog post summarizes key lessons from the classic book “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless: Customer Loyalty is Priceless” by Jeffrey Gitomer. The Ladder of Customer Service graphic is a good reminder of the levels of dissatisfaction of customers.

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