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Press Release
For Immediate Release : February 29, 2012

Contact: Sharilyn Hunke, Communications Officer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 951-241-7777
word count: 644

The Funder's Alliance, chaired by Daniel Foster, President/CEO of The Community Foundation, launched in 2010. One of its main purposes is to gather the largest funders of this region to collaborate on how to strengthen our individual and collective grant making in order to make a greater impact on our communities.

In January, the Funder's Alliance, in conjunction with the Nonprofit Resource Center and Kaiser Permanente, conducted training for nonprofits and their boards on Board governance. 42 organizations sent teams of board and staff leadership together, totaling 230 attendees, to learn how to fulfill their mission in a greater way. The training was conducted by Michael Daigneault from BoardSource, a premier board development consultant and research firm based in Washington DC. Daigneault worked with attendees using a best practice model that goes beyond anything that has been attempted in our region, or nation, ever before.

BoardSource has been nationally celebrated as the organization with the best standard on board development training programs. The Funder's Alliance looked at that best practice model and said, "Can we add anything to it?" And, they did.

They added an implementation and follow-up action plan to increase the value of the training. "I think it is a very novel model that I am a big believer in," says Daigneault. "The Funder's Alliance is doing a great job of doing this training in a way that really is an example for the rest of the country.

"I don't mean that in a small way. I think this could resolve itself in articles, in case studies, and in the attention of the rest of the nonprofit sector, in particularly as you are then able to follow through with those folks and see real or distinctive change, individually in their own organizations and then also collectively in the community," Daigneault said.

Many attending nonprofits will take the next 6-9 months to implement the action plan they created that day based on what they learned and developed at the training. The process of developing a plan for improving Board governance was designed to be a change-agent experience that could fundamentally improve the culture of their organization.

An attending board member said it best. "This training has been an educational experience. It gave our board members direction to restructure our board and become a more effective board." Other attendees said, "Excellent! Helpful! Outstanding!" and "Awesome Job!" Overall, the nonprofits in attendance were thankful for "expanding our thinking." 87% of all attendees regarded the experience as 'exceeding their expectations' in their training day evaluations.

One question discussed at the Funder's Alliance meetings is, "What is the best indicator of future success in a nonprofit organization?" Some would argue it's the most recent track record, and most certainly one can say that one of the best indicators of future success is recent performance. But then there is always the danger of nonprofits resting on their recent successes, and not changing and growing.

Daniel Foster, President/CEO of TCF has a different perspective. "I believe the greatest indicator of success is whether or not the individual or organization has a DNA, structural, built-in, learning culture. The value of learning needs to be a fundamental principle. If you are constantly learning, you always have the potential of growing and getting better. When you stop learning, you could go into reverse and decline."

By attending the BoardSource training, all attendees demonstrated evidence that they are learning individuals in a learning culture organization.

In her training evaluation form at the end of the day, Pamela Tyler-Smith from The Foundation for Community and Family Health said, "As an Executive Director of a nonprofit, it means a great deal to know and see the support of the Funder's Alliance, Kaiser, and Nonprofit Resource Center. The training today WILL make a huge difference and impact on nonprofits and the communities we serve. Thank you!"

About The Community Foundation
The Community Foundation is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation created by and for the residents of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The Community Foundation connects donors with the causes they care about. Established in 1941, The Community Foundation has $58 million in assets and provides college scholarships and grants to nonprofit organizations across the two-county area. It also serves as a regional convener to address issues regarding their Community Initiatives, which include Arts & Culture, Capacity Building, Environmental, Youth Philanthropy, and Education. To learn more about applying for a grant or making a donation to The Community Foundation, please call 951-241-7777 or visit

Photo available upon request
Full room shot
Posed photo of Daigneault, Foster, Roberts (from Kaiser) and Wilson (from NRC)
Foster on stage
Nonprofit leaders discussing at their table