Advancing the Manitoba community foundation network


Endow Manitoba provides customized sustainability and growth support for community foundations.
Courtney Feldman,
capacity building consultant,
Endow Manitoba

The 56 community foundations across Manitoba are committed to the betterment of their communities, right now and forever. In service to this network, Endow Manitoba works to advance the sustainability and growth of each community foundation using feedback, knowledge, and experience obtained from the community foundations themselves.

A new, customized, Sustainability and Growth Report presents each community foundation (outside Winnipeg) with comparative data on core operational practices. The report is designed to celebrate the work of each community foundation and outline opportunities for enhanced operations and increased community impact.

“Sharing a snapshot of how a community foundation’s operations align with a model of best practices, as defined by their peers, sparks internal questions and conversations that will ultimately drive intentional growth of the foundation, growth that is grounded in evidence,” says Courtney Feldman, capacity building consultant with Endow Manitoba.

Endow Manitoba used a systematic approach when developing the Sustainability and Growth Report, first consulting with community foundation leaders across the province to develop a theoretical model – or framework – outlining exemplary practices for foundations. The model is made up of five core, interrelated functions: governance, finance and administration, fund development, grantmaking, and strategic initiatives. To ensure that the model reflects the diversity of community foundations operating throughout Manitoba and to support their growth, three stages of community foundation development, across each of the five functions, were identified: emerging, developing, and accelerating.

“The stages of development are meant to guide intentional growth of a community foundation. As a community foundation moves through each stage, it builds upon its established practices and further integrates community involvement,” Feldman says.

Using this framework, Endow developed a survey that was distributed to all Manitoba community foundations in August 2020. With 100 per cent participation, the data generated (more than 5,000 data points) was used by Endow to provide performance measures and identify relevant recommendations for each community foundation in the province.

The survey results showcase a thriving network that is led by more than 560 passionate community leaders. In 2019, more than 5,500 unique donors supported the community foundation network (outside Winnipeg) which resulted in grants of more than $3.3 million into communities across Manitoba.

“Endow Manitoba is grateful for the full participation of the network in this project and is committed to continued engagement and collaboration to identify the unique needs and opportunities of Manitoba’s community foundations,” Feldman says. “In addition to empowering individual community foundations, this annual project will enable Endow to identify and analyze provincial trends which will drive Endow’s strategic direction and support advocacy for greater impact by community foundations.”

What is Endow Manitoba?

Endow Manitoba represents the network of Manitoba’s community foundations. Started as an initiative of The Winnipeg Foundation, Endow Manitoba works with the province’s 56 community foundations to increase their impact and advance the community foundation movement.

This story is featured in the Fall 2021 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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