WINGS – Community philanthropy support – growing with the field

WINGS’s contribution to the series of initiatives focusing on community philanthropy this year is a new report, Infrastructure in Focus: A special look at organizations serving community philanthropy.

WINGS’ Community Foundations Global Status Report 2010 showed that the best way to predict new growth in community foundations between 2008 and 2010 was to look at the number of infrastructure organizations that had been serving and promoting community philanthropy in 2003. Our recent report found similar results: ‘In those countries with a dedicated community philanthropy support organization, the average growth from 2010 to 2013 was about nine new community foundations, compared with less than one in countries where no supporting infrastructure organization was present.

Launch of Infrastructure in Focus at the 2014 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, Cleveland.

Launch of Infrastructure in Focus at the 2014 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, Cleveland.

The Community Foundation Atlas, a project to map community foundations globally in which WINGS participated, identified 1,827 foundations, an increase from 1,680 in 2010. Data revealed that the WINGS global network represents more than 1,000 of these community foundations and that infrastructure is accompanying the field’s growth – 60 per cent of the support organizations were created in the 1990s and 2000s.

Community foundations were largely positive about the work of infrastructure organizations, mentioning that a number of WINGS members had been particularly helpful to their work. To build on existing improvements, we have used this report to begin testing the 4Cs framework (capacity, capability, connection and credit), using real stories to evaluate the work of infrastructure organizations. We hope this body of work will help facilitate continued growth in the field for years to come.

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