Community Leadership Skills Paper

Write a paper focused on community leadership skills that are needed to address the factors that shape social interaction and the social forces that influence community development. Your paper should pull together information from your course readings and relate lessons from the course to your professional practice. Your paper will be graded based on your ability to relate any of the readings to your professional practice or to your “real world” experiences outside of work. Use your life experiences and occupational background to frame your approach to any idea, theme, or theory noted by the authors..Requirements:Your paper should be 3 to 4 pages in length (not including the title and reference pages), double-spaced, and it should conform to the and APA Requirements.Include at least three (3) scholarly sources in addition to the course textbook. ________________________________________________________________________________Dear writer, my profession is in childcare and my career path is in human services. Please relate these two somehow.


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doi: 10.4087/FOUNDATIONREVIEW-D-11-00022
Delivered by Publishing Technology to: EBSCO Publishing IP: on: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 05:49:00
Copyright (c) Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University. All rights reserved.
Promoting Community Leadership Among
Community Foundations: The Role of the
Social Capital Benchmark Survey
Doug Easterling, Ph.D., Wake Forest University
Community Foundations and Community
The community foundation (CF) field has experienced a dramatic makeover in recent years.
Rather than contenting themselves with excelling
at the traditional functions of attracting donors,
building endowments, and making grants, CFs
have experimented with a variety of proactive
community change strategies (Irvine Foundation,
2003; Hamilton, Parzen, & Brown, 2004; Ranghelli, 2006; McGill, Kornberg, & Johnson, 2007).
These include:
1. publicizing issues that need more public and
political attention;
2. drawing together various stakeholders to
develop new solutions;
3. creating a new organization focused on a
critical local issue;
4. developing, testing, and disseminating innovative program models;
5. advocating for changes in public policy and
social norms;
6. encouraging people and organizations to
adopt new practices; and
7. building the capacity of individuals, organizations, and communities.
2011 Vol 3:1&2
Key Points
· Faced with increased competition for donors and
calls for measurable impact, many community
foundations (CFs) are adopting a more proactive,
strategic approach to philanthropy – one that has
come to be known as “community leadership.”
· Community leadership has proven challenging for
many CFs. In theory, community assessment is a
useful tool allowing CFs to identify strategic issues
where leadership activities are warranted. This
article examines the effect of a large, coordinated
assessment project, the 2000 Social Capital
Benchmark Survey (SCBS), conducted by Robert
Putnam and the Saguaro Seminar at Harvard
· Of the 34 CFs that participated in SCBS, 12
participated in the National Social Capital Learning
Circle from 2006-2007. Transcripts and materials
generated through monthly conference calls were
analyzed to assess the CFs’ community-leadership work and to determine the role of SCBS.
· SCBS supported community leadership work by
providing data that served as a platform for communitywide conversations, by pointing to strategic
issues, and by providing objective evidence to
justify the choice of issues.
· For CFs willing and able to serve as a community
leader, a community assessment can serve as
a useful point of departure for stepping first into
facilitative leadership and later into more directive
The term “community leadership” has become
the commonly accepted frame for this new line
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Copyright (c) Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University. All rights reserved.
of work. According to the Community Foundation Leadership Team (CFLT) at the Council on
Foundations (2008), a community foundation
becomes a “community leader” when it acts as “a
catalyzing force that creates a better future for all
by addressing the community’s most critical or
persistent challenges, inclusively uniting people,
institutions and resources, and producing significant, widely shared and lasting results” (p. 2).
The overarching goal of community
leadership is to improve the
local community’s well-being
institutions and national firms such as Fidelity
and Vanguard (Bernholz, Fulton, & Kasper, 2005;
Ballard, 2007).
The Community Foundation Leadership Team
and other thought leaders in the field have actively encouraged CFs to adopt the “community
leadership” paradigm (Community Foundation
Leadership Team, 2007, 2008; Ballard, 2007).
While many CFs have moved in this direction, the
paradigm has not yet been fully embraced by the
field. Although no systematic surveys have been
conducted, the prevailing view among observers of the field is that fewer than half of CFs are
carrying out strategies that qualify as community
in meaningful and measurable
The obstacles to community leadership have
been articulated by CFLT and other experienced
leaders in the field (Bernholz, Fulton, & Kasper,
community impact, a CF becomes
2005; Ballard, 2007; CFLT, 2008). One of the most
important barriers is risk aversion: many CFs are
a more responsible steward of its
uncomfortable with giving up their traditional
stewardship role and getting involved in the
philanthropic assets.
less-certain business of community change. Even
when a CF commits itself to the idea of acting
Lucy Bernholz, Katherine Fulton, and Gabriel
as a community leader, it may not have the staff
Kasper were among the first to articulate the need and organizational structure to support the new
and the rationale for CFs to step forward as com- approach. The traditional CF is organized around
munity leaders. In their 2005 report, On the Brink donor relations, investment, grantmaking, and
of New Promise, they contend that:
administration, with little to no responsibility in
areas such as convening, advocacy, and capacity
Strategic positions on challenging issues, crossbuilding. To carry out effective community-leadsector solutions, and a relentless commitment to the
ership work, the foundation may very well need
betterment of communities must become as much a
to hire additional staff. And perhaps most vexing,
part of community foundation parlance and action in the chief executive officer may not have the skill
the future as donor services and grants management
set required to do this work, especially if he or she
have been in the past. (p. 5)
was hired in an earlier era.2
ways. By achieving a discernible
The overarching goal of community leadership is
to improve the local community’s well-being in
meaningful and measurable ways. By achieving
a discernible community impact, a CF becomes
a more responsible steward of its philanthropic
assets (Porter & Kramer, 1999; Heifetz, Kania,
& Kramer, 2004). At the same time, the foundation becomes better positioned to distinguish
itself from its competitors, especially the private
philanthropic funds offered by local financial
Even if a CF develops the will and the staff to do
community-leadership work, there remains the
practical issue of finding the right area on which
to exercise leadership. When done well, commuThis assessment was derived from a May 2011 conference
call with nine nationally recognized leaders in the CF field.
Recognizing that few CFs are prepared or equipped to
take on the community change work that community leadership requires, groups such as CFLT, CFLeads, and Aspen
Institute have developed tools to build the organizational
capacity of CFs.
The Social Capital Benchmark Survey
Delivered by Publishing Technology to: EBSCO Publishing IP: on: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 05:49:00
Copyright (c) Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University. All rights reserved.
nity assessment is a tool that allows a foundation
to identify the strategic issues where leadership
work is warranted (Brown, Chaskin, Hamilton, &
Richman, 2003).
This article examines one particular experiment
in community assessment – the Social Capital
Benchmark Survey (SCBS), which Robert Putnam
organized in 2000. The survey provided 34 CFs
from across the country with a quantitative assessment of the level of social capital existing
within their community. Social capital refers to
the social relationships and the trust that allow people, organizations, neighborhoods, and
entire communities to work together in ways that
advance everyone’s interests (Putnam, 2000).3
By measuring social capital at both the local and
national level, the survey provided each sponsoring foundation with data to better understand
its community’s strengths and deficits, which in
turn allowed the foundation to hone its leadership
work on the “right” strategic issues.4 As described
below, many CFs took good advantage of what
they learned through the social-capital surveys
and developed proactive strategies (well beyond
grantmaking) that have impacted local behavior
and norms.
The Social Capital Benchmark Survey
The seeds of the 2000 Social Capital Benchmark
Survey were planted at the 1999 Fall Conference
of Community Foundations in Denver. Robert
Putnam delivered a keynote address highlighting the research that was published a year later
in his best-selling book, Bowling Alone. Putnam’s
talk kindled considerable interest at the conferSocial capital is a concept originated by sociologists
and political scientists to explain how community residents overcome shared problems with collective action
(Coleman, 1990; Putnam, 2000). The construct has been
defined in a variety of ways in the academic literature, but
all definitions include some notion of social connectedness, accompanied by the premise that communities with
“stronger” connections (e.g., more trusting relationships,
wider networks, denser networks, more bridging across
lines of difference) are in a better position to promote the
well-being of their members.
SCBS has also proven invaluable to academic researchers.
Saguaro has documented more than 200 journal articles
that have been published using data from the survey, along
with many doctoral dissertations (http://www.hks.harvard.
2011 Vol 3:1&2
ence. During follow-up workshops and online
discussions, Lew Feldstein of the New Hampshire
Charitable Foundation and Tom Sander of the Saguaro Seminar proposed the idea of a coordinated
national survey that would assess social capital in
any community where a local foundation would
agree to provide funding. The premise underlying
the survey was that each participating foundation
would gain access to a reliable estimate of how
much social capital exists within its local community. The survey would also allow an opportunity
to compare each community’s results to national
norms and to the other communities participating in the survey.
By measuring social capital at both
the local and national level, the
survey provided each sponsoring
foundation with data to better
understand its community’s
strengths and deficits, which in turn
allowed the foundation to hone
its leadership work on the “right”
strategic issues.
By early 2000, more than 30 CFs had signed on
to the survey. Each agreed to contribute between
$25,000 and $50,000 in order to have the survey
conducted in a particular geographic region – a
city, a county, a multicounty region, or a state,
depending on the foundation’s service area. In
addition to the CFs, the Northwest Area Foundation joined up with the idea of measuring social
capital in the communities where it was doing
place-based grantmaking (spread throughout the
northwestern U.S. from Minneapolis to Seattle).
Likewise, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund sponsored a survey of San Francisco residents.
A total of 34 CFs and four other funders eventually agreed to sponsor local samples in the SCBS.
TABLE 1 Community Foundations and Other Sponsors Participating in the 2000 Social Capital Benchmark Survey
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Copyright (c) Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University. All rights reserved.
Birmingham Metro, Ala.
Community Foundation of Greater
Phoenix Metro, Ariz.
Arizona Community Foundation
Los Angeles County, Calif.
California Community Foundation
San Diego County, Calif.
The San Diego Foundation
Silicon Valley & South Bay, Calif.
Peninsula Community Foundation
and Silicon Valley Community
Boulder County, Colo.
Community Foundation of Boulder
Denver, Colo.
Denver Foundation and Rose
Community Foundation
Piton Foundation
State of Delaware
Delaware Community Foundation
Delaware Division of State Service
Atlanta Metro, Ga.
Community Foundation for
Greater Atlanta
State of Hawaii*
Hawaii Community Foundation
Chicago Metro, Ill. and Ind.
Chicago Community Trust
East Baton Rouge Parish, La.
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Lewiston-Auburn Metro, Maine
Maine Community Foundation
Boston, Mass.
Boston Foundation
Detroit Metro, Mich.
Community Foundation for
Southeastern Michigan
Fremont Area, Mich.
Fremont Area Community
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Grand Rapids Community
Kalamazoo County, Mich.
Kalamazoo Community
St. Paul Metro, Minn.
St. Paul Foundation
State of Montana
Montana Community Foundation
State of New Hampshire
New Hampshire Charitable
Rochester Metro, N.Y.
Rochester Area Community
Syracuse Metro, N.Y.
Central New York Community
Charlotte Metro, N.C. and S.C.
Foundation for the Carolinas
Greensboro, N.C.
Community Foundation of Greater
Winston-Salem, N.C.
Winston-Salem Foundation
Cincinnati Metro, Oh., Ky., and
Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Cleveland Metro, Oh.
Cleveland Foundation
Forum 35
The Social Capital Benchmark Survey
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Copyright (c) Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University. All rights reserved.
TABLE 1 continued
York, Pa.
York Community Foundation
Eastern Tennessee
East Tennessee Foundation
Houston, Tx.
Greater Houston Community
Charleston Metro, W.Va.
Greater Kanawha Valley
San Francisco, Calif.
Walter & Elise Haas Fund
State of Indiana
Indiana Grantmakers Alliance
Minneapolis, Minn.
Northwest Area Foundation
North Minneapolis, Minn.
Northwest Area Foundation
Bismarck, N.D.
Northwest Area Foundation
Bend, Ore.
Northwest Area Foundation
Miner County, S.D.
Northwest Area Foundation
Seattle, Wash.
Northwest Area Foundation
Yakima County, Wash.
Northwest Area Foundation
*The 2000 survey of Hawaii was carried out by a local survey firm using in-person interviews. These data were
not included in the dataset analyzed by Saguaro.
(See Table 1.) This funding allowed the survey to
be conducted in 41 communities spanning every
region of the country.
Results from the survey were released in a coordinated fashion in Spring 2001. The Saguaro Seminar issued an analysis of the national data and a
summary of how the local communities differed
from one another along 11 distinct dimensions of
social capital (e.g., social trust, interracial trust,
involvement in organizations, faith-based social
capital, involvement in conventional politics,
protest politics, volunteerism and giving). Each
of the foundations that sponsored a local sample
was provided with data files and summary results
for its community, along with national results
that could be used for comparative purposes. The
Aspen Institute facilitated the sharing of information, especially with regard to the development of
press releases and dissemination strategies.
Social Capital Learning Circle
The National Social Capital Learning Circle
provided for the venue for assessing the community-leadership activity that emerged in response
to SCBS. The Learning Circle was formed in
July 2006 to promote information sharing and
coordination among foundations interested in
2011 Vol 3:1&2
improving their programming in the area of social
The impetus for the Learning Circle was the 2006
Social Capital Community Survey. This followup survey, again coordinated by Putnam and
Sander, was designed to assess how social capital
had changed between 2000 and 2006, a period in
which a number of critical events (e.g., the 9/11
terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina) had affected the country’s mood, behavior,
and view of itself. While Putnam and Sander were
interested primarily in larger national trends, they
also recognized that CFs would likely want to
know how social capital had changed over time in
their own communities.
Nine CFs agreed to sponsor local samples in
the 2006 survey: Duluth-Superior, Greensboro,
Gulf Coast, Kalamazoo, Maine, New Hampshire,
Rochester, San Diego, and Winston-Salem. Four
additional foundations signed on to sponsor one
or more local samples:
• The Kansas Health Foundation sponsored the
survey in Kansas (statewide sample) and five
communities across the state.
• The Northwest Area Foundation sponsored a
TABLE 2 Foundations Participating in the Social Capital Learning Circle
Community Foundations
Sponsored SC Survey
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Copyright (c) Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University. All rights reserved.
Central New York Community Foundation (Syracuse)
Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta (Georgia)
Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro (North Carolina)
Community Foundation of South Wood County (Wisconsin)
Duluth-Superior Area Foundation (Minnesota-Wisconsin)
Foundation for the Carolinas (North and South Carolina)
Grand Rapids Community Foundation (Michigan)
Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Sarasota, Florida)
Kalamazoo Community Foundation (Michigan)
Maine Community Foundation
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
Rochester Area Community Foundation (New York)
Winston-Salem Foundation (North Carolina)
York Foundation (Pennsylvania)
Berkshire-Taconic Community Foundation (Massachusetts)
Vermont Community Foundation
Other Philanthropic Organizations
Northwest Area Foundation
Kansas Health Foundation
Staten Island Foundation
* The first SC survey sponsored by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation occurred in 2003 rather than 2000.
** The 2006 survey of Staten Island was carried out by a local university rather than the main Saguaro project.
sample in Yakima, Wash.
• The Staten Island Foundation carried out a
survey in the borough of Staten Island in New
York City.5
• An unnamed funder, recruited by Putnam,
sponsored the survey in Houston; Baton Rouge,
La.; and a cluster of towns and cities in Arkansas – all of which had received evacuees from
New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
The participating foundations recognized the
importance of coordinating their efforts in
analyzing the survey data and in crafting communications strategies around the results. This
led to the creation of the National Social Capital
Learning Circle, which was coordinated by the
author. Eleven of the 13 foundations participating
in the 2006 survey joined the Learning Circle and
contributed financially to its operation. (See Table
2.) As the Learning Circle began to function, eight
additional CFs (including five foundations that
participated in the 2000 survey but not the 2006
survey) joined the Learning Circle in order to
learn what other foundations were doing to build
social capital.
For the purposes of this study, the Learning Circle
provided the means to learn what various CFs
had done in response to the 2000 survey. Monthly
The Staten Island Foundation entered into the process too conference calls were held over 18 months, from
late to be included in the Saguaro project and instead conJune 2006 to December 2007. These calls typitracted with a local university to carry out the social-capital
cally attracted representatives from 8 to 12 of the
survey within its target community.
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Copyright (c) Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University. All rights reserved.
The Social …
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