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Community Leadership Assessment Tool


The Community Leadership Assessment Tool focuses on foundations’ engagement in community leadership activities, including their commitment to community leadership work and a self-assessment of their foundation’s performance on these activities.

Although there are several ways to define community leadership, the most widely referenced definition comes from CFLeads, which states on their website that “community leadership happens when community foundations move beyond grantmaking and act as valuable partners that drive positive change in the area(s) they serve.”

There are five main sections to the Community Leadership Assessment Tool. Section 1 asks respondents to indicate in which community leadership activities the foundation engages, and sections 2-5 focus on both internal and external-facing work related to executing community leadership: 1) organizational culture; 2) relationships; 3) resources; and 4) understanding and skills.

At the foundation-level, the Community Leadership Assessment Tool is designed to inform practice. We recommend that key staff members involved in community leadership work take this survey and carve out time to discuss the results.

At the field level, results from this tool will be aggregated by CF Insights to provide a broader perspective on how foundations are engaging in community leadership efforts.

It is expected that foundations will engage in some practices and not others; thus, there is no value judgment placed on whether items are rated as “minimal” versus “strong.” Keep in mind that no foundation will answer “strong” on every dimension. Answer as honestly as you can about the assessment of the current (not desired) state of your foundation’s efforts.

The Community Leadership Assessment Tool is expected to take 20-25 minutes to complete. The ability to save your progress and continue later is included and can be accessed from the upper righthand corner of any survey page.

Note: CF Insights has partnered with CFLeads to perform a comprehensive crosswalk between this tool and their Framework for Community Leadership for your reference. Each item in sections 2 through 5 of this tool will note the corresponding first and second-level building blocks of community leadership within CFLeads’ Framework.

A print version of the Community Leadership Assessment Tool is also available. If you have any questions about the Community Leadership Assessment Tool, including any technical issues, please email us. Thank you in advance for your contribution to the field's understanding of trends in community leadership by completing this assessment online.