I spend a lot of time with a lot of smart people. Last week I had the chance to spend a day with several CEOs of community foundations in Ohio - a smart bunch. Here's a paraphrase of one of the many wise thoughts I heard:
"Community foundations' products are the changes they make happen - whether it be economic development, new housing, or safer kids. That's what we do."
Ronn Richard, President, The Cleveland Foundation
Thinking about community foundations this way puts the communities first, and all the processes, standards, technology, and back office issues second. Focusing this way would be a refreshing mindshift for everyone making decisions about operations, board leadership, marketing, staff capacity, investment strategies, or other structural needs in community foundations.