Community Foundation Excellence (CFE) Fundamentals Course - Virtual October 2021

A well-trained staff and an informed board are critical to the success of community foundations in our fast-changing world. This traditionally in-person, two-day course adapted to virtual in four, half day sessions helps new and growing foundation stakeholders build the essential skills they need to balance governance and management with the broader understanding of community foundations within the philanthropic sector.

Date & Time

ET to




Council Members = $349
Nonmembers = $499
Group rate (6+) for Council members only = $314
If you're interested in the group rate, please contact us at

Virtual Course
October 13 | 14 | 20 | 21
1:00-4:30 p.m. ET


You should have received an email from Zoom with your unique information to join the virtual classroom.
If you did not receive the email, contact


  • Wednesday, October 13: 1:30-5:00 p.m. ET
  • Thursday, October 14: 1-4:30 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday, October 20: 1-4:30 p.m. ET
  • Thursday, October 21: 1-4:00 p.m. ET







Day 1 | Wednesday, October 13 | 1:30 - 5:00 p.m. ET

Welcome, General Overview and Introductions

Daniela Rodriguez Ranf, Director, Leadership & Training, Council on Foundations

  • Overview
  • Activity: Class introductions

Chapter 1: Community Foundation Movement

Peter Dunn, President & CEO, Central New York Community Foundation 

  • History
  • Traditional and emerging roles
  • Unique characteristics
  • National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations
  • Growth Trends/Future Trends
  • Activity: Community Foundation Scenarios


Chapter 2: Governance and Board Composition

Peter Dunn, President & CEO, Central New York Community Foundation 

Guest Speaker: Sachi Yoshi, Vice President of Strategy & External Relations, East Bay Community Foundation

  • Activity: Fickly Finger of Fate – What Do Boards Do?
  • Board role and responsibilities
  • Effective meetings
  • Governance, Board Composition and DEI

Day 1 Faculty

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
President & CEO
Central New York Community Foundation

Sachi Yoshii
Sachi Yoshii
Vice President of Strategy & External Relations
East Bay Community Foundation


Day 2 | Thursday, October 14 | 1-4:30 p.m. ET

Karima AmlaniVice President of DevelopmentCommunity Foundaton for Greater Flint
Joe Sorenson, Vice President of Affiliate Relations, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines


Chapter 3: Resource Development – Donors

  • Why donors give to community foundations
  • Activity: Defining the Motivation of Donors

Chapter 3: Resource Development – Gifts

  • Types of gifts
  • Activity: What’s wrong with this gift?
  • Gift Acceptance and agreements
  • Planned giving


Chapter 4: Resource Development – Donor Relations & Attracting Gifts 

  • How foundations attract gifts
  • Strategic Development Plan
  • Services to donors and advisors
  • Activity: Cutting Edge Donor Services
  • Marketing and communications
  • Activity: Tugs and Pulls / Balancing Competing Interests

Day 2 Faculty

Karima Amlani
Karima Amlani
Vice President of Development
Community Foundaton for Greater Flint

Joe Sorenson
Joe Sorenson
Vice President of Affiliate Relations
Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

Day 3 | Wednesday, October 20 | 1-4:30 p.m. ET

Chapter 5: Legal and Legislative Issues

Ben McDearmon, Staff Counsel, Council on Foundations
Guest Speaker: Jenn Holcomb, Director, Government Affairs, Council on Foundations

  • Legal Restrictions vs. Donor Control: Donors
  • Legal Restrictions vs. Donor Control: Agencies
  • State Law: UPMIFA
  • Grantmaking Pitfalls
  • Legislative Updates


Chapter 6: Stewardship, Accountability and Fiduciary Responsibilities (Part I) 

Brett Hunkins, Chief Financial Officer, Community Foundation of Greater Flint

  • Stewardship
  • Fiscal Accountability
  • Activity: What could possibly go wrong?
  • Fiscal Policies
  • Finance/Investment Committee
  • Communicating Investment & Financial Decisions
  • Asset Allocation
  • Spending Rate

Chapter 6: Stewardship, Accountability and Fiduciary Responsibilities (Part II)

  • Operating budget
  • Staffing: What’s the right mix?
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Activity: Conflict of Interest

Day 3 Faculty


Jenn Holcomb
Director, Government Affairs
Council on Foundations

Ben McDearmon

Ben McDearmon
Staff Counsel
Council on Foundations

Brett Hunkins
Brett Hunkins

Chief Financial Officer
Community Foundation of Greater Flint

Day 4 | Thursday, October 21 | 1-4:00 p.m. ET

Chapter 7: Grantmaking & Community Leadership (Part I)

Betsy Constantine, Executive Vice President, Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo

Guest Speaker: Fran Rodriguez, Senior Program Officer, Lancaster County Community Foundation


  • Setting grantmaking priorities
  • Grantmaking styles
  • Types of grants
  • Internal process/plan
  • External Clarity: communicating grantmaking priorities
  • Activity: Review Grant Request


Chapter 7: Grantmaking & Community Leadership (Part II)

  • What CFs Bring to the Leadership Table
  • Impact Investing:  Employing All Your Capital
  • Considering all assets when leading
  • Leadership Roles
  • Strategic assessment and planning
  • Leadership, diversity and inclusiveness
  • Activity: Community Leadership

Day 4 Faculty

Betsy Constantine

Betsy Constantine
Executive VIce President
Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Fran Rodriguez

Fran Rodriguez
Senior Program Officer
Lancaster County Community Foundation



(watch video for DAY 3 class on October 20)




Connect with Council Staff

Daniela Rodriguez Ranf

Director, Leadership Development and Training

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