Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Community Foundations, tech and marketing

Community foundations all over the world are trying to connect with their communities. They are trying to structure themselves to serve customers (communities and donors) who have an abundance of choices and options of places to go to get everything a community foundation offers. So why should they come to the community foundation?

Articulating the value of a community foundation can be a big challenge and - at certain points in time - can require restructuring (new operations), re-assessing (what matters), or re-aligning (new customers) the organization. It can require new staff, new mission statements, new partners - in some cases community foundations are undertaking complete overhauls.

But the new environment for community foundations doesn't always require such a complete change. Sometimes all the pieces are already in place and the challenge is making them all fit together.

The Columbus Foundation not only makes it all fit together - they've fit it all on one page. Their website offers IN ONE PLACE, on the very first page - information on the community, opportunities to give, access to scholarships, access to funds and accounts, information on community foundations and at least a dozen other resources. And it speaks to the reader - asking the person who has come to the site "what do they want to accomplish?"

This is a great example of pulling it all together - its clean, functional, useful, and focused. My hat is off to the folks in Columbus.

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